Cancer takes Foothillers
football coach Murphy, 48
By Bill Dickens
© East County Sports.com
SANTEE (2-15-12) — The nature of the high school coaching profession
is hard work for minimal pay. Most of these mentors do it for “the
love of the game,” and/or to payback the coach that guided them
during their playing years.
Few worked harder than Grossmont High’s football coach RON MURPHY,
who passed away Tuesday (Feb. 14) at his Santee home, ending his
battle with melanoma.
“This is a sad loss,” said Santana boys basketball coach and teacher
TIM BARRY, who shared a classroom with Murphy five years ago at the
Santee high school where the latter coached football. “What a nice
man – one of the best teachers I have ever met.”
Murphy, 48, also taught Special Education.
“He was so good with those kids,” Barry said. “I can’t say that I
have seen a better teacher or family man. Ron had time for everybody
and excelled at everything he did.”
As a coach he was widely respected for preparing his teams to
challenge superior opponents.
Case in point was last year’s come-from-behind 33-25 playoff victory
over No. 5 seed Mira Mesa. The Foothillers trailed 25-0 at halftime
in that one. Earlier in the same season, the Hillers overcame a 20-0
halftime deficit for a 24-20 win over Ramona.
“It is not surprising he was such a good coach,” Barry said. “He
knew how to convince kids they could succeed no matter what the
Murphy is survived by his wife of 27 years, Dani; daughter Whitney,
24; and sons Jordan, 21 and Luke, 19 and a granddaughter Kennedy
Antoinette, 6 months. Ron also leaves behind his sister Kim Martin
(husband Joe) and their son Anthony, along with numerous aunts,
uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
A 1982 graduate of Santana where he played varsity football for
three years continued to Grossmont College for two seasons before
His coaching career included stops at Poway, Santana, West Hills,
Southwestern College and San Diego Mesa College . He spent his final
four seasons as a teacher and as the head football coach at
Grossmont High School where he felt honored to be a Foothiller and
privileged to be around great staff, students and especially his
A celebration of Murphy’s life will take place on the football field
at Grossmont High School on Saturday at 9 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to
Grossmont High School Football.
Longtime assistant coach
Yancey passes at 49
© East County Sports.com
SANTEE (2-14-12) — FRANK YANCEY was known as the offensive lineman’s
best friend. Never one to overrate a player’s performance, Yancey
was always willing to praise those in the trenches for a job well
Annually, he would lobby for players worthy of post-season
recognition. No question he knew talent when he saw it.
A veteran East County mentor of 28 high school seasons, Yancey, who
served as the Valhalla offensive line coach last season, passed away
of undisclosed causes on Monday (Feb. 13). He died in his Santee
home at the age of 49.
“I coached with Frank for more than 20 years and nobody enjoyed
working with the kids any more than he did,” said former East County
head coach STEVE SUTTON. “He really knew his stuff and the kids
responded positively to him.”
A correctional deputy for the San Diego County Sheriffs Department,
Yancey coached with some big names such as Philadelphia Eagles head
coach Andy Reid and Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress as a
graduate assistant at Northern Arizona University in 1986.
Yancey also coached 18 seasons at West Hills High, five at El Cajon
Valley and the last five at Valhalla. His college tenure also
included a stop at College of Eastern Utah.
As a player, Yancey was an offensive lineman at Santana High School,
Grossmont College and San Francisco State.