Dean Tom Murphy has been selected for induction in the National Collegiate Water Ski Association Hall of Fame. The Bear Bryant of collegiate water skiing, Dean Murphy is the winningest coach in the history of the sport and is credited with bringing 10 national championships to Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe.
Murphy brought legitimacy to collegiate skiing securing school support in the form of funding, transportation, and talent scholarships. He truly believed in the concept of team skiing, stressing that championships are won as a team, not by individuals.
Murphy was integral in the establishment of the collegiate water ski national championships. Prior to 1979 ski teams only competed regionally. When members of the NLU ski team proposed the idea of a national tournament, Murphy agreed and garnered support for the event from the University and the City of Monroe. The team hosted the first National Intercollegiate Water Ski Tournament on Bayou DeSiard in October of 1979.
The landscape of collegiate water skiing today would be unrecognizable had it not been for Dean Tom Murphy.