|Position:||Wide Receivers/Special Teams|
The coach of the top two receivers in school history, Keith Murphy is in his eighth season on EWU's staff and seventh as a full-time assistant. He coaches wide receivers and special teams, and also is responsible for video exchange. The last four seasons he has coached All-American Eric Kimble, who finished a record-breaking career with 253 catches for 4,140 yards and 46 touchdowns. His touchdown total is second in I-AA history behind the 50 of the legendary Jerry Rice. Kimble was one of four senior receivers on the 2005 roster that combined for 156 games of experience (74 starts), with totals of 503 catches for 7,858 yards and 74 touchdowns. Kimble broke 13 school records - and a pair of Big Sky marks. He broke EWU's career receiving record of 168 held previously by two-time Academic All-American Kyler Randall (2000-03). In the past seven years under Murphy, Eastern has returned six punts for touchdowns and five kickoff returns for scores. Kimble returned three of the punts for scores, including two in 2004 when he earned first team All-Big Sky Conference honors as a return specialist. Eastern ranked second in I-AA in 2004 in punt returns with an average of 16.6 yards per return. From 1999-2001 he coached All-America kickoff returner Lamont Brightful, who went on to spend three seasons in the NFL. In 1999, Murphy's kickoff return team ranked second in NCAA Division I-AA with an average of 26.3 yards per return, with Brightful second with a 33.9 average. In 2000, Brightful again ranked second nationally with a 32.2 average and two returns for touchdowns. Teams consistently kicked away from Brightful in 2001, but his 24.3 average was still good enough to earn him All-America honors for the third straight season. Murphy came to Eastern from the University of Washington where he served as a graduate assistant working with wide receivers, quarterbacks and special teams from spring 1997 to spring 1999. He was also a student assistant in 1996, coaching running backs and special teams before he received his bachelor's degree in psychology in 1997. He played for the Huskies as a wide receiver and special teams player. In all, he was a part of two Pacific 10 Conference championship teams (1992, 95) and was a part of five bowl games - 1998 Oahu Bowl, 1997 Aloha Bowl, 1996 Holiday Bowl, 1995 Sun Bowl and the 1993 Rose Bowl (following the '92 season). Murphy is a 1992 graduate of Mt. Rainier High School in Seattle, Wash., where he competed in football, basketball, soccer and track. He was born July 7, 1974, in Seattle, Wash. He and his wife Carrie were married July 12, 2003. Their first child, a daughter named Lexi Rose, was born on Jan. 31, 2006.