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Kelly Murph Murphy: Where’s the Tough as Nails Season 1 Winner Now?

January 6, 2023

CBS’ Tough as Nails is a reality competition series that tests the strength, skill and mental stamina of those already in labor-intensive jobs through a series of real-world challenges. In other words, this show gives us an authentic glimpse into the life of a hard worker in a humble position. In Season 1, Marine Corps Veteran Kelly Murph Murphy demonstrated exemplary skill and competitiveness to emerge victorious. Now let’s find out how the Season 1 winner has fared since his journey on the show ended, shall we?

Kelly Murphy’s badass journey

Kelly Murphy, who hails from a small town in Paragon, Indiana, captured the hearts of millions of fans when he took home the Season 1 winning title in 2020. The veteran was among the show’s oldest contestants, but age didn’t stop Murph from showing off his strength and endurance, which earned him victory over other contestants on the show. What’s interesting is that Murph didn’t even consider appearing on the show, let alone winning the title. Opportunity knocked on his door in the form of a Discovery Channel representative who got in touch with Murph about a year ago.

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The executive encouraged Murph to apply for the program after seeing footage of him doing various physical training exercises on his Instagram account. At first, Murph believed it was a hoax, but he quickly realized it was true. In the final task, players went through an obstacle course inspired by previous challenges of the season.

To get to the Ford truck at the finish line, participants had to move bales of hay, untangle cables, attach a chain net and cut wooden steps, among other things. Murph crossed the finish line first and returned to his wife and children with $200,000 and a Ford truck. But what happened to the 48-year veteran after filming Season 1 wrapped? Let’s find out where Murph is and how life is treating him after years.

Where is Kelly Murphy today?

It’s no news that veterans’ mental health is severely impacted after their service and retirement. Undeterred by retirement, Kelly Murphy moved on. He became director of the Military and Veterans Center at the University of Central Missouri, where he served until June 2022. After winning the title, he continued to work on his social media pages where he posted workout videos to inspire people of all ages to work on their bodies. He also works as a part-time fitness trainer and uses his social media platform to point it out.

Murph is currently at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He also returned in Season 3 of the show to help contestants with military challenges. Murph also joined Season 3 winner Lia Mort on her podcast More Than Tough, where he shared his experiences as a US Marine and his time on the show. He is also currently modeling for the ARIAT brand and other labels such as Guard Dog Armor.

Today, the 50-year-old is busy creating memories with his family, being a proud father and husband, and focusing on growing his social media reach to inspire people, including veterans, to work on themselves and live a healthier and more fulfilling life. We hope Murph continues to grow and expand his social media empire, and we are immensely proud and grateful for his service to his people and country.