The desire for change combined with a strong passion for baseball led University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) men’s baseball pitcher Sam Murphy to the Mavericks.
A Florida native, Murphy has been playing baseball for nearly 12 years now. He chose UNO for baseball, but also largely for educational purposes.
“I knew I didn’t want to go to school in Florida— I wanted a change.” Murphy said, “Omaha was a better school for my broadcasting major, so I chose UNO.”
Despite the distance, Murphy remains close to his family in Florida by visiting at least twice a year.
“We stay in touch and when I go home I always make it count,” Murphy said, “But they understand that it’s just one of those things— I’m doing my thing and this is how it is.”
Murphy is a senior this year and graduates in May. However, because Murphy suffered from an injury his junior year, during which he sat out the season, he’s continuing his education and playing ball next year at UNO.
“It feels like I’ve been here for so many years,” Murphy said, “But it’s really been such a great experience.”
Murphy is majoring in News Broadcasting and hopes to work in the radio industry.
“At first, I thought I wanted to work in TV,” Murphy said, “But getting the experience with UNO’s Men’s Basketball really opened my eyes to radio— now play by play is the dream.”
Murphy spends much of his time interning at UNO’s Athletic Department, handling the journalism side of sports by delivering news and press releases.
“Working in the sports information office has been very time consuming the past three years,” Murphy said, “But it’s given me real life experience and has really enhanced my writing skills.”
Along with interning, Murphy produces a blog titled Bullpen Banter for UNO’s Sports website, OMavs. Murphy said he tries to post every two weeks.
“When the idea was first brought to my attention, I was skeptical,” Murphy said, “But I’ve gotten really great responses.”
Murphy said he aims to deliver a behind the scenes look into the life of a student athlete from a baseball perspective.
“I try to recap what’s going on in the sport and I also attempt to do a Q&A with a player in each post,” Murphy said, “I do this so the audience can get to know the team.”
For Murphy this semester is drastically different than last spring, as he was challenged by an
“The injury threw me through a whirlwind,” Murphy said, “But the trainers were great to me— it was difficult— but I recovered.”
Murphy pointed out that having a strong work ethic is what got him through those difficult times.
“Luckily, I had a good mindset, went to rehab, and put in a lot of hours in the training room, Murphy said, “It all worked out.”
Although Murphy is open to the possibility of a future with baseball, he said he’s not dependent on that outcome.
“If it happens, great,” Murphy said, “If not, I’ve gotten so much out of baseball already— it’s truly been a dream.”
Murphy said the hardest aspect to being a student athlete is that the title is used regularly, however, many don’t necessarily understand the term.
“Sometimes, people don’t understand that being a student comes first,” Murphy said, “Student athletes are held to a high standard and must maintain a certain GPA and keep their academics as a first priority.”
In order to do this, Murphy said that students and student athletes alike should create a game plan right off the bat and stick to it.
“Get your academics squared away and come in strong,” Murphy said “It’s all about trying hard and staying on track.”