UA Cross Country and Track & Field Coach Dave Murray to be Honored at Halftime Thursday Night
Jan. 16, 2002
Tucson, Ariz.--University of Arizona cross country and track and field head coach Dave Murray will be honored at halftime of the USC vs. Arizona men's basketball game Thursday night.
Murray, in his 35th year of coaching at Arizona, plans to retire after this season. His tenure is the longest running of any current Arizona coach and is topped only by one legendary figure, Fred Enke. His 35 years ties another Wildcat coaching legend, J.F. 'Pop' McKale.
Since Murray, 59, has been at the helm of the Arizona programs, Wildcat athletes have been named All-Americans 161 times in cross-country and track & field. His coaching has also produced numerous NCAA and Pacific 10 conference champions, Olympians, World Championship competitors and NCAA and Pac-10 Athletes of the Year.
Murray, a UA graduate, has been honored as Pac-10 cross country Coach of the Year eight times and District 8/West Region cross country Coach of the year six times. He was named the NCAA Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1984.
He has been UA's men's cross country coach since 1968, added the women's program in 1990 and assumed the head coach position of the track and field programs in 1982.
Murray's women's NCAA cross country national titlist, Tara Chaplin, was the winner of the Honda Sports Award as the national athlete of the year and won the Pac-10 Cross Country Athlete of the Year award last month. Amy Skieresz won the honor in 1996-97 and another Murray student-athlete, Tanya Hughes, was named 1994 NCAA Woman of the Year and won an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship award, among other top students he has mentored.
Murray is a member of the Drake Relays Hall of Fame, the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame, UA's Kappa Sigma Fraternity Hall of Fame and received the Bear Down Award from the UA Alumni Association in 1995. He has been active in the NCAA Division I Track Coaches Executive Committee and the Pacific-10 Conference track and field rules committee, among other national affiliations in the coaching world.
After earning All-America honors in track at San Bernardino Community College, Murray enrolled at Arizona and set a then-school record in the 440-yard dash in 1964. After a stint coaching in high school, he returned to the UA staff in 1967 as a graduate assistant before assuming full-time duties with the men's cross country program. He received his graduate degree from UA in 1968.
UA athletics director Jim Livengood said a search for Murray's successor will be conducted at the conclusion of the spring season.