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Gibbs High sports coaches help student-athletes achieve

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st. PETERSBURG, FL — Larry Murphy has been the head coach of the Gibbs High School boys’ basketball team for nearly 20 years. Murphy says he is also a product of St. Pete’s and is able to relate to athletes in his own unique way.

“We help kids find their way out of the neighborhood, see other things in life, advance their education, and build relationships beyond high school,” he said.


What you need to know

  • Gibbs High School coaches Larry Murphy, Louis Murphy Jr. and Alvin Shirley give back to their community by helping students educate and build relationships after high school
  • Some of the players on each of the coach’s teams have won college scholarships.
  • Coach wants to make a difference.

The impact of Murphy is clear. Over 50 players have college scholarships and several play professionally.

Many of them, he says, will return to coach the next generation of athletes alongside their former coaches.

“For me, it’s the kids who have been successful on other levels and have come back to share that knowledge with the kids who are here now,” said Murphy. .

Head out to Gibbs’ football field to find another ‘Coach of the Year’ with local ties. Former Tampa Bay He is a Buccaneer receiver and Lewis Murphy his junior who wants to give back to his hometown.

“St. Petersburg is my hometown. Lakewood, Gibbs, Boca Siega, every high school, every child needs help. He said.

Lewis Murphy took over a winless football program in 2020 with a turnaround on and off the field.

“Ten kids who graduated and made it through the football program, and about half or more of them were ineligible,” he said. Seeing him walk across the stage meant everything to me.It was unreal.”

Classroom wins have helped several players receive college scholarships, but they’re just as important for Gibbs Flag football coach Alvin Shirley.

“We get a lot out of watching athletes grow,” he said. , or going from immature 9th grade to a very responsible 12th grade.

“I mean, that’s what we want to do, that’s what we want to see. That’s what coaching is all about.”

As a former Gibbs student, Shirley believes that everyone should have a chance to participate in the game.

“I believe being able to mentor children is a God-given gift,” he said. “From that point of view, I think sport is for everyone. There is no one specific person or person with higher qualifications. If you want to play sport, I will make sure you can do it. I’m going to make a way.”

All three coaches said they were well invested and put in countless hours 24/7. They once had a coach who did the same for them, so they want to make a difference.

“I know what it’s like and some situations where kids grow up and how they’re not helped or encouraged to go anywhere. “But I know that with a little inspiration and a little motivation, they can go a long way.”

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