||Tom Murphy is pictured at Lambeau Field in Green Bay with the Community Quarterback Award he received recently from the Green Bay Packers. With him are his family members, from left: son Quin, wife Kate, and daughter Claire. ((Photo by Tim Schroeder/Green Bay Packers)
GREEN BAY -- The Green Bay Packers recently honored Tom Murphy of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Cross Plains with one of its annual Community Quarterback Awards.
Murphy attended a luncheon in the Legends Club inside the Lambeau Field Atrium, where he and 19 other recipients from throughout Wisconsin were recognized for their work in their communities.
“We’re honored to salute these individuals today,” said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. “Their great work, positive spirit, and desire to give back to the community serve as inspiring examples for all of us. The organizations for which they work deserve out gratitude as well.”
Each Community Quarterback winner received a $1,000 grant for a non-profit group of their choice. Murphy gave his grant from the Packers to the St. Francis Xavier Youth Football Program, which he directs.
Murphy’s wife, Kate, and children Quin and Claire also attended the recognition lunch.
“I enjoyed the day with 20 other volunteers from across Wisconsin and my family. The Packers do a great job of sharing. I was very surprised and humbled to be included with so many others,” said Murphy.
The luncheon was originally scheduled for February, but was postponed for a good reason: the Packers’ participation in Super Bowl XLV.
Work with football program
Murphy was nominated for the award by Patty Loew, who describes herself as a “Former Football Mom,” according to an article in the News-Sickle-Arrow, a Black Earth newspaper. Lowe first met Murphy when her oldest son — now a college sophomore — was 12. Since then she’s had another son go through the St. Francis Xavier football program, and her husband was a coach with the organization.
“Tom is the first one on the field and the last one to leave,” said Lowe of Murphy. “He’s a humble man who deflects compliments about St. Francis Xavier football onto the parents, coaches, and players. He has influenced thousands of children with his gifts of time and energy.”
When Murphy took over the St. Francis Xavier Orioles in 1991, there were 23 players on one team. This year, there are 227 boys and girls on 10 teams.
“I believe the success of the high school program is directly attributable to the youth program Tom Murphy has built in Cross Plains,” added Loew.
Murphy said the mission of St. Francis Xavier Youth Football is to help youth build football skills, promote team concepts, develop leadership, and have fun.
Packers support youth
Murphy admits this award is especially significant to him because it is coming from the Green Bay Packers. “What the Packers do for youth sports is fantastic,” he said. “They reach out in many different directions and I think it’s great what they try to accomplish within the state.”
Murphy said the money will be put to good use. For the past several years, St. Francis Xavier has been raising funds to finish off its new athletic field, which is nearing completion.
“It takes a lot of work and a lot of people and obviously donations are important all around,” he said.
In addition to his involvement with St. Francis Xavier football, for the past 12 years, Murphy has worked at the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center in Madison as superintendent of facilities and grounds.