Mike Murphy
Defensive Coordinator


Mike Murphy assumes the role of defensive coordinator with the Colts in Week 13 of the 2011 NFL season. He is also in his 14th season as linebackers coach with the team, his 27th in the NFL.


Mike Murphy assumes the role of defensive coordinator with the Colts in Week 13 of the 2011 NFL season. He is also in his 14th season as linebackers coach with the team, his 27th in the NFL.


In 2011, the Colts linebacker core of Pat Angerer, Kavell Conner and Philip Wheeler has combined for 32 of a possible 33 starts this season, and the unit has produced three of the four leading tacklers on the team. Angerer took over as middle linebacker for the unit, following a season-ending injury to Gary Brackett, and leads the NFL in tackles through Week 12 (111). Philip Wheeler (64) and Kavell Conner (80) have also benefited from the guidance of Murphy, as each has set a career-best in tackles. 


Murphy’s linebacking unit was resilient during a challenging 2010 season.  Gary Brackett (12) and rookies Pat Angerer (11) and Kavell Conner (nine) produced the most starts, while Philip Wheeler was the lone 16-game participant among the corps.  Angerer (75) and Brackett (74) ranked second and third on the squad in tackles, and Tyjuan Hagler joined the club in week four to amass 54 tackles.  Wheeler (48) and Conner (47) were the other leaders in stops, while Clint Session was limited to five games.  Angerer earned NFL All-Rookie honors by the PFW/PFWA and The Sporting News.  The linebackers totaled 64 special teams tackles, with four players with 10+ stops (16, Angerer; 12, Wheeler; 11, Cody Glenn; 10, Conner).

In 2009, Brackett and Session started 14 games, Hagler (7) and Wheeler (7) were strongside starters after Hagler was lost to injury.  Brackett (115) and Session (104) ranked second and third in team tackles, the sixth consecutive season Brackett had 100+ stops.  Four different linebackers produced sacks and combined for 12 pressures.  The club held six opponents under 100 rushing yards and ranked 8th in NFL scoring defense.  The linebackers topped 50 special teams tackles, led by Ramon Humber (17).  In 2008, only Session played in every game, while Hagler (nine appearances), Keiaho (14) and Brackett (12) were limited.  Keiaho (114), Brackett (113) and Session (99) ranked among the club’s top tacklers.  The unit helped produce an 11th-ranked finish in NFL total defense, including a 6th-ranked pass defense that yielded only six touchdowns, the fewest allowed by any team since the NFL adopted a 16-game schedule.  The defense ranked 3rd in NFL red zone efficiency in touchdowns allowed.  Brackett, Keiaho, Rocky Boiman and Hagler headlined the 2007 unit.  Brackett topped the club with 149 tackles.  Keiaho (101) was among five players with 100+ stops.  Indianapolis ranked 3rd in NFL total defense, the club’s highest defensive ranking since 1971.  It was club’s fourth top 10 defensive ranking since moving to Indianapolis.  Indianapolis ranked 1st in NFL scoring defense, its best showing since 2005 (2nd), and 262 points allowed marked the second-fewest by the club in a 16-game season.  The Colts had 22 interceptions, T2nd in the NFL, and produced the best seasonal total since 1979 (23).  The club ranked 2nd in the NFL with a +18 turnover ratio (37:19) and takeaways (37).  The 2006 unit was led by Cato June, Brackett, Gilbert Gardner and Rob Morris.  June (162) and Brackett (123) topped the defense in stops.  The club held three playoff foes under 100 rushing yards.  Indianapolis set a franchise playoff record by allowing only 126 net yards and 44 rushing yards in a Wild Card win over Kansas City, then won a 15-6 field-goal slugfest at Baltimore in the Divisional Playoffs.  The defense held Chicago to no first downs on six of 13 offensive possessions in a 29-17 Super Bowl XLI victory.  Murphy’s 2005 group was led by David Thornton, Brackett and June.  Indianapolis surrendered 247 points, the lowest 16-game seasonal total in club history and ranked 2nd in NFL scoring defense.  Indianapolis held six opponents to single-digit point totals.  Brackett led the club with 131 tackles.  June, 109 tackles, returned two of his five interceptions for scores and became the first Colts linebacker since Duane Bickett (1987) to earn Pro Bowl honors.  In 2004, June (128), Thornton (98) and Morris (94) led the team in tackles.  The unit set a club Indianapolis-era record with five players having interceptions (June, Brackett, Morris, Thornton, Jim Nelson).  Thornton topped the team in 2003 with 158 tackles.   

Murphy started his coaching career at Woonsocket (South Dakota) High School and also coached at Mapleton High School in Denver, Colo., and at Fairview High School in Boulder, Colo.  He entered the collegiate coaching ranks as defensive line coach at Vermont (1970-73) before moving to Idaho State (1974-76), where he coached the defensive line in 1974-75 and was defensive coordinator in 1976.  He coached linebackers at Western Illinois from 1977-78.  Murphy was defensive coordinator with Saskatchewan of the CFL from 1979-83, and he was defensive line coach of the Chicago Blitz of the USFL in 1984.  He entered the NFL with Detroit, where he coached linebackers from 1985-89 before coaching inside linebackers with Arizona from 1990-93.  He worked in the Pro Personnel Department with Carolina in 1994 before joining Seattle.

Murphy played guard and linebacker at Huron (S.D.) University.  He was born September 25, 1944, in New York, N.Y.  He is married to the former Gaye Groethe of Rapid City, S. D.  They have three children, Sam, Sarah and Heather.


College: Huron University 1963-66.

Coaching Career: Woonsocket (South Dakota) High School 1966-67; Mapleton (Denver, Colo.) High School 1968; Fairview (Boulder, Colo.) High School 1969; Vermont 1970-73; Idaho State 1974-76; Western Illinois 1977-78; Saskatchewan Roughriders (CFL) 1979-83; Chicago Blitz (USFL) 1984; Detroit Lions 1985-89; Arizona Cardinals 1990-93; Seattle Seahawks 1995-97; Indianapolis Colts 1998-present.