History was made Sept. 29 as Emily Murphy became the first woman to have her name inscribed on the Bracewell Stadium Wall of Honor.

Accompanied by her parents, Derrick and June, Murphy stood near the 50-yard line ahead of the varsity football game as the Purple & Gray Foundation introduced her to the crowd and awarded her with a framed picture marking the milestone.

Murphy, a 2018 graduate of Burlington High School, was recognized for her accomplishments, dedication and skills in soccer.

Her soccer career began at the Southeast Soccer Academy (SESA), setting the stage for her future success.

As the captain of the BHS team throughout high school, Murphy left a lasting legacy, amassing 73 goals and 45 assists in the Mississippi Athletic Conference. She earned numerous accolades, including all-conference honors and All-State recognition.

After high school, Murphy made her mark at Indian Hills Community College in the NJCAA Division 1, setting records for goals in a game (5), goals in a season (37), and career goals (71).

Her versatility on the field was evident as she also contributed 23 assists and excelled in game-winning moments.

Her collegiate career was marked by national recognition, ranking among the top scorers in the nation and earning awards like NJCAA All-American and Iowa Community College Athletic Association Athlete Player of the Year.

Transferring to the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, Murphy continued her leadership as team captain. She was a vital part of the team’s success, earning All-Tournament Team recognition in the Horizon League.

Beyond her soccer prowess, Murphy excelled academically, graduating summa cum laude while consistently making the President’s List and Dean’s List.

In 2023, Murphy signed her first professional contract with Volsungur in Iceland, swiftly becoming a dominant force, leading in goals and assists.

Murphy’s soccer journey is an inspiration, showcasing her dedication, skill, and leadership on and off the field. With a bright future ahead, she continues to inspire female athletes and capture the hearts of soccer fans worldwide.

Murphy’s is not the only new name to appear on the Wall of Honor.

Carl Johannsen

The late Carl C. Johannsen taught physical education and coached a variety of sports at Burlington High School.

His 43 years as a full-time physical education teacher at one school is believed to be a national record. Johannsen also was the head track coach until he retired in 1968.

He came to Burlington in 1927. In 1967, the high school gymnasium was named Johannsen Gymnasium. A street leading to the high school also bears his name.

His awards include Drake University Double D Award given to those graduates that excel in their fields. He is a member of Iowa Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame Award as well as in the Iowa High School Directors Association.

Johannsen’s track teams compiled outstanding records, including a 1949 state championship. His former athletes agree that much of their success was due to the encouragement they received from their coach.

Johannsen coached many sports including football, basketball, wrestling and swimming. He also coached the Burlington Blackhawks to a state basketball title in 1946.

Prior to his death in 1990, he returned to the BHS track staff as the shot put/discus coach.

In his final year, he coached a state championship shot putter at age 87.

Thousands of young men benefited from Johannsen’s positive influence and fair-mindedness. Beyond the impressive accomplishments, he is remembered for humility and modesty. His kind and gentle nature enabled him to see the best in others. He was a role model for all ages.

Accepting the prestigious Bracewell Wall of Honor on Johannsen’s behalf were his grandchildren.

About the Wall of Honor

In 2011, 12 individuals met with a common goal to bring Bracewell Stadium back to a place everyone could enjoy and be proud of. This group of individuals adopted the name of the Purple & Gray Foundation.

They set the timeline of upgrades and reconstruction into three phases. First, construct a state-of-the-art press box, including a conveniently located concession stand, restroom facilities and a parking area. Second, totally refurbish the football field, lighting and landscaping to be used, not only for football, but for soccer, outdoor music events and other high school activities as appropriate. Third, construct a new locker room and shower facility.

All three phases have been completed. This was an expensive endeavor, but through generous financial assistance of the Burlington High School Alumni, businesses, the school district and friends, the money came in to pay for this dream.

Even having accomplished these goals, the members of the Purple & Gray Foundation still felt there was something missing: a way of recognizing and honoring, football, track, soccer and cheerleader athletes and coaches who have made exceptional contributions to their respective sport, while competing here at Bracewell.

The P & G group set up specific selection parameters for identifying these individuals and honor them by placing their names on the Bracewell Stadium Hall of Honor.

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