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Carolyn Murray — pioneering coach and friend

By Carol Almond

Special to the Salisbury Post

After hearing from a teammate that Coach Murray had passed away this past Thursday, I began to reflect on the positive impact that she had on my life and many others.

I can remember all the great times that we had as a tennis team and all the lessons that she taught us! I immediately went online to see the article in the Salisbury Post sports page by Mike London. Mr. London summed up her great winning career at Salisbury High, ending the article with a statement that all the successful tennis teams at Salisbury began with Coach Murray.

Yes, she had an amazing win-loss record as a coach full of championships and champions, but she was so much more! She was the “first-ever” coach of an interscholastic team for girls at Salisbury High School back in 1974! The city school did not offer interscholastic sports for girls until Title IX mandated that all schools provide such opportunities. So, she was our “first ever” coach and all of us were so excited to finally receive the chance to compete for our school against other schools! We were finally able to be on a “team” with our classmates and play a sport that we loved!

Coach Murray led us with style, grace and enthusiasm. She had a way of getting the most out of us and we loved her! She made it fun by granting us all nicknames and teaching us by example that being on a team should be so much more than playing the sport. She also had her serious side that we all respected and this helped us compete at a higher level. We certainly did not want to disappoint her in any way so we bonded as a team!

Players continued to communicate with Coach Murray long after their high school careers and she always had a positive word and a way to make you laugh and remember those precious moments. I know that I speak for many, many others that we were all blessed to have known her and to have learned from her. Salisbury High School many never know how lucky they were that she chose to teach and coach there. She was a true pioneer, coaching the first interscholastic team for Salisbury High in 1974! She was definitely a legendary coach and even more, a great friend!
Carol Almond lives in Boone and was a member of the Salisbury High Class of 1975.

 

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