NOTEBOOK: Harvard Coach Tim Murphy Celebrates His 100th Career Crimson Victory

Joseph L. Abel

Tim Murphy celebrates his 100th career Crimson victory

ITHACA, N.Y.—Last week, freshman running back Treavor Scales wasn’t in Bethlehem, Penn. for the Lehigh game because he had returned home to attend his grandmother’s funeral.

“I was in fact very close to her,” Scales said. “She and I talked on a regular basis about once a week. She was just such a sweet woman. She wanted me to do the best in everything that I did—everybody in our family, myself and my little brother. She just really wanted us to do everything that we could to succeed in whatever we participated in.”

But in Saturday’s game at Cornell, Scales seemed to channel the words of his grandmother—succeed he did. The Dunwoody, Ga. native netted 92 yards on 23 carries, and ran in two of Harvard’s four touchdowns against the Big Red. After the game, he took the time to thank the woman that had always pushed him to do his best.

“I dedicated this game to [my grandmother],” Scales said. “You play off of emotion in this game, and that’s all you can do.”



In any Ivy League matchup, one can expect the penalty flags to fly. The stakes of intraleague play—particularly in a league that has just a 10-game season—inevitably increases the intensity. But what characterized the number of Harvard penalties in Ithaca was not unnecessary roughness or illegal contact, but rather mental mistakes and miscues.

The Crimson accrued eight penalties, resulting in 45 yards. Of those, two were false starts and two were delays of game. Harvard also got knocked for an illegal shift and an illegal formation.

The Crimson also breathed new life into a Big Red drive late in the third quarter. Cornell’s Drew Alston punted it into the endzone for a touchback, but as the Harvard offense prepared to take the field, the yellow flag flew. The call, 12 men on the field, undid the punt and gave the Big Red a first down.

“On the kick penalty, on the previous time, we had put two returners out there because there was some wind, and their punter had scattered some kicks,” Crimson coach Tim Murphy said. “We ended up having one too many guys, and I’m pretty sure that was a reflection of having one extra returner. There’s no excuse for it, it’s as simple as that. We put that on ourselves, the coaches, starting with me.”


With Saturday’s win, Murphy improved to 100-53 in his 15-year career as coach at Harvard.

“It feels great to win whether it’s one or one hundred,” Murphy said. “It just feels great to win on the road against a good team. You look at a hundred wins and it’s simply a reflection of being around a lot of great kids and great coaches through the years. All of a sudden, it adds up.”

Murphy ranks second in wins among current Ivy League coaches. Penn’s Al Bagnoli has coached in Philadelphia for 17 years and boasts a 116-56 record.

There are only eight coaches in Ivy League history to accumulate 100+ wins. Carm Cozza, Yale’s coach from 1965 to 1996, has the most career wins in the Ivies with a record of 179-119-5.

—Staff writer Dixon McPhillips can be reached at