Football star Caleb Murphy recognized by City of Dowagiac

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2023

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DOWAGIAC — The city of Dowagiac celebrated the achievements of former Chieftains standout and current NFL prospect Caleb Murphy Monday night.

Family, friends and community members were on hand as City of Dowagiac Mayor Don Lyons honored Murphy with a proclamation during the city council meeting. Earlier that day, Murphy visited Justus Gage Elementary to speak to students.

“We have a very irregular opportunity to recognize a local person who has already, in his young life, accomplished very outstanding goals, opportunities and all of the above,” Lyons said.

After presenting Murphy with the proclamation, Lyons gifted him a Dowagiac city flag and an official Dowagiac knitted hat.

Councilmembers and visitors expressed how proud they were of Murphy’s successes both on the field and in the classroom:

“I watched him play all through high school and he was fun to watch, so keep it up” said councilmember James Dodd.”

“I think you know that I’m very proud of you (Caleb),” said councilmember Danielle Lucas. “I appreciate you guys coming out and supporting Caleb, and Caleb, I hope you get drafted in the first round.”

“I have a favorite team, but whatever team you go to will be one of my favorite teams,” said councilmember Pat Bakeman.

Dowagiac Union High School Athletic Director Brent Nate was on hand for the special occasion and was proud of his former Chieftain standout.

“It’s a fantastic honor for him and for his family,” Nate said. “He played four sports his senior year and is just a great kid and a great representation of our school.”

In his years with the Dowagiac community, Nate has seen firsthand the impact Murphy’s success has had on students, teachers and community members.

“He is still active in the community,” Nate said. “He walked these same halls not too long ago. If you put your mind to it, put the work in and do things the right way, you’ll be successful and he’s always done that. He’s just a great role model for our kids, and even the adults, actually. He impacts our teachers and the staff to see the work that they’ve put in how they can mold and the accomplishments that can be made.”

Mayor Lyons’ proclamation reads as follows:

WHEREAS,  Caleb Murphy, as an athlete at Dowagiac Union High School and Ferris State University, continues to prove that school size doesn’t matter when it comes to achieving big things on the football field; and

WHEREAS,  Caleb Murphy has made history with his record-breaking football career that includes earning the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation’s top collegiate defensive end, regardless of school size; and,

WHEREAS, Caleb Murphy has broken the collegiate record for quarterback sacks and tied the record for most tackles for a loss in a single season; and

WHEREAS,  the City of Dowagiac recognizes that determination and commitment to excellence have driven Caleb Murphy to the cusp of a career in the National Football League; and

WHEREAS,  the City of Dowagiac recognizes this determination and commitment to excellence, serves as a living example of values to be emulated by all citizens of Dowagiac; and

WHEREAS, Caleb Murphy’s achievements on the football field are of great pride to our community,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT PROCLAIMED; that I, Donald D. Lyons, Mayor of the City of Dowagiac, do proclaim, to Caleb Murphy, this sincere expression of our appreciation of your impact on the City of Dowagiac and look forward to your continued success as your professional career unfolds.

Caleb Murphy’s record-breaking stats, prestigious awards, and incredible accomplishments are certainly something to be proud of. The leader, the tenacious goal maker, and man he has become unquestionably brings pride to his family and community.