COACHING COMMUNIQUE: John Murphy! Maloney! Kermit the Frog!

Howdy,

John Murphy is going green.

It's expected that Murphy will be hired as the New Milford Green Wave's head coach Thursday at the town's Board of Education meeting, according to Sean Bowley and Kevin Duffy of Hearst Inc.

Now THAT'S interesting.

Murphy, 45, had coached Masuk of Monroe the previous 16 seasons. He resigned in December.

It's been the most outlandish football offseason in recent memory, as 23 teams have had coaching openings. That's over a sixth of the state's 146 programs.

Murphy has been one of the most successful coaches in state history. He has a 159-34-1 record, and his .822 winning percentage is the fifth-best in state history, according to the 2012 Connecticut High School Football Record Book.

Masuk had success prior to Murphy. It was 31-23 between 1992-96 and played in both the 1985 and '86 Class M final (it lost both).

Murphy helped transform the Panthers into a state power, though. In his second season, they stunned heavily favored Fitch to win the CIAC Class L title.

Masuk qualified for the state playoffs in 12 of Murphy's 16 seasons. It won three state titles in seven championship appearances. It also snared a league-high six South-West Conference titles.

Murphy takes over one of the SWC's most downtrodden programs. It's never qualified for states, and it has a 31-82 record over the last 11 seasons. Its only winning season during that stretch was in 2008 (6-5). It won three-or-less games in nine of those years.

New Milford has the second-largest program in the 14-team SWC. It had 757 boys in grades 9-12 during the 2011-12 school year. Only Newtown (888) has more.

The hire further alters the SWC landscape as earlier this month, Craig Bruno moved to Naugatuck after having great success at his alma mater, Bunnell of Stratford. Bruno coached Bunnell to both the league and Class L championship in 2006 and 2007.

One final thing — New Milford opens the season against Masuk. Neat.

■ ■ ■ ■

Bryant Carpenter of the Meriden Record-Journal reported Monday that Maloney may — emphasis may — have its coaching recommendation approved tonight at Meriden's BOE meeting.

Several sources told Carpenter that Pierce Brennan was the unanimous recommendation of Maloney's search committee. Brennan is an assistant coach at Trinity Pawling (N.Y.) and a math teacher.

Carpenter reported that Middletown assistant Kevin Frederick and Weaver of Hartford head coach Kevin Quinn were the other two finalists.

Meriden School Superintendent Mark Benigni wouldn't say who the search committee recommended, but said it included a teaching gig.

Maloney is one of EIGHTEEN vacancies left — Abbott Tech of Danbury, Avon, Branford, Bridgeport Central, Bunnell, Ellington/Somers, Fairfield Ludlowe, Fitch, Lewis Mills of Burlington, Masuk, Old Saybrook/Westbrook, Rockville of Vernon, St. Bernard/Norwich Tech, Stamford, Torrington, Wilby of Waterbury and Woodstock Academy.

Bacon Academy (Erik Larka) and East Lyme (Rudy Bagos) hired their new coaches earlier this month.

■ ■ ■ ■

CHEAP PLUG — TEAM DAY and Pooch Diggity Dogg of JRC Amalgamated both wrote stories the past few days about this offseason's coaching chaos. Please read responsibly.

Vaya con dios….

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