Pat Murphy's phone conversation with Randy Smith lasted less than a minute.
Smith, the San Diego Padres' director of player development, asked if Murphy was interested in the open Triple-A manager job in Tucson. Murphy said yes.
Now the former Arizona State coach will be tasked with turning around the team with the worst record in the Pacific Coast League during the last two years while drawing the lowest attendance in the league.
The Tucson Padres introduced Murphy as their next manager Tuesday at Kino Stadium. They also announced the hiring of pitching coach Bronswell Patrick and hitting coach Tom Tornincasa for the team's final season in Tucson before moving to El Paso.
"I was excited to hear that we're going to have a manager that knows how to win," Tucson Padres general manager Mike Feder said. "All I've heard is great things about him and that the man knows how to win."
Murphy spent the past two seasons managing the Padres' short-season affiliate in Eugene, Ore., posting the Northwest League's best record both years. Before joining the Padres as a special assistant to baseball operations in 2010, he coached at both ASU and Notre Dame while becoming one of just three coaches in NCAA Division I history to reach 1,000 career wins before turning 50.
Patrick pitched for the Tucson Toros in 1995 and 1996 and spent two seasons in the major leagues. Tornincasa has spent the last 13 seasons with the Padres, including the past two at Double-A San Antonio.
While most of Murphy's career success has come at the college level - ASU was in the top 10 for 47 straight weeks from 2007 to 2009 - he said coaching in College World Series games helps prepare for being at higher levels of baseball.
"There's 35,000 people in the stands, and every game's on national TV. … That's a great experience," Murphy said. "I'm not saying that qualifies me. I'm just saying that this situation isn't anything other than baseball - just with better players."
Murphy said he has heard that Tucson is the toughest place to manage because of attendance problems and the fact that the Padres are entering their last year in the city. But there's one thing Murphy said can't change despite the questions surrounding Tucson this season - it's still getting paid to play a game.
"You know, it's all a challenge," Murphy said. "But there's no reason we can't have a hell of a time playing baseball."
• Former Tucson Padres manager Terry Kennedy was named a pro scout for the Chicago Cubs organization.