Madison West football coach apparently fired after creating club team for Madison players

MADISON, Wis. — Madison West High School is looking for a new football coach. The current coach has apparently been fired after creating a club team for athletes to play on during the spring.

“Today I found out I guess there’s a job posting for my position,” said coach Brad Murphy.

Murphy has been the head coach at Madison West for five years. He said he wasn’t told he was fired, but he knew losing his job was a possibility when he started the Madison West Club Team.

WIAA rules say coaches can’t have too many out-of-season contact days with athletes that they’ll coach the next year.

But Murphy was willing to jeopardize his job to give students the experience he says every high school athlete deserves.

“I talked to a lot of my kids, I told them over six months ago that if the school shuts this down for our kids, I’m going to make sure you have a senior year,” said Murphy.

Football players at all four Madison high schools were told they wouldn’t have a season, even though every other school in the Big 8 conference would.

“It was kind of devastating. I’ve been playing football since the second grade so I just always look forward to that in the fall,” said Nazier Jones, a senior at Madison West.

But Murphy’s club team gave all of them a chance to play, teaming up with players that have been their rivals for years.

“They’re asking me every day, ‘Why does this team get to play? Why does that team get to play?’ And they’re sitting at home wondering why they don’t get to,” said Murphy. “That doesn’t sit well with me. That’s not something that I’m going to stand for, and I’m going to continue to do what’s right for the kids.”

He said the WIAA gave him the ok to create the team, and he believes the Madison Metropolitan School District could’ve got an exemption, but didn’t.

“It’s just kind of heartbreaking because he gave up his whole job just to let a bunch of teenagers, most of them that he doesn’t even know, play football,” said Colin Spring, a senior at LaFollette high school.

Spring said news of Murphy losing his job just makes him want to play even harder in their last game against Milton on Friday.

“It’s messed up that he’s getting fired for doing the right thing. I feel like it’s kind of strange how the other school districts get to have a season, then for my coach to step up and do the right thing, he loses his job for that,” said Jones.

The varsity team is currently 4-0. They have been traveling to play any school that would agree to play them, but haven’t played any of their usual opponents in the Big 8.