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|Murray named USA Wrestling FILA Junior/University Person of the Year|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Don Murray of Brockport, N.Y. was named USA Wrestling FILA Junior/University Person of the Year. This award goes to a leader(s) who works with athletes and programs on the FILA Junior (ages 17-20) and University (ages 18-24) levels.
Murray serves as the head wrestling coach at SUNY-Brockport, and has been a leader within all levels of wrestling for decades.
He has served as the Event Director of the Northeast Junior/Senior Regional Championships in Brockport, N.Y. since 1987. He also runs a Cadet Festival as part of this competition. Murray has hosted a U.S. Olympic Regional Trials event every Olympic year since then (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004). He also served as Event Director for the 1997 USA Wrestling Beach National Championships and World Team Trials, held in Rochester, N.Y.
He served six years as the Vice-Chairperson of USA Wrestling's FILA Junior/University Executive Committee. Murray has also been the Northeast Regional Representative to the Junior Executive Committee. He has also served on USA Wrestling's Cultural Exchange Committee.
He has served as the World University Games head coach. Murray was named USA Wrestling's Junior Person of the Year in 1998.
Murray also was tournament director for the 1976 Final Wrestle-off for the U.S. Olympic wrestling team, and hosted the training camp prior to the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada. He also hosted the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team Training Camp and Final Wrestle-off in Brockport.
His SUNY-Brockport teams have been a powerhouse in Div. III college wrestling. Under Murray, SUNY-Brockport has won five NCAA Div. III national titles, with 13 teams placing in the top four and 27 teams placing in the top 10 at the national championships. Murray has coached 26 NCAA Div. III individual national champions and 131 individual All-Americans. He has coached SUNY-Brockport to 25 conference team titles. He is one of the few coaches in college wrestling history with over 100 NCAA All-Americans.
When it was still permitted, three of Murray's wrestlers went on to become All-Americans on the Div. I level. He served as a coach for the East team at the 1976 East-West College All-Star Meet. He has been SUNYAC/Empire Coach fo the Year six times and Div. III Coach of the Year twice.
He has coached U.S. age-group teams that competed in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic and was the Chief of Delegation for the Junior World Teams that competed in Canada and Egypt. He been on the coaching staff for Senior level teams that have competed in Turkey, Mexico and the former Soviet Union.
Murray has served as the State Chairperson for the Scholastic and Open divisions for the Empire State Games since 1978, when the competitive began. The Empire State Games is the oldest State Games competition in the nation.
He was the 1980 AAU Man of the Year and served on the U.S. Olympic Committee from 1972-1979. Murray has been inducted into the New York State and the NCAA Div. III Coaches Halls of Fame.
FILA Junior/University Person of the Year
1994 - Bill Crum, New Jersey
1995 - Brad Traviola, Illinois
1996 - Rich Estrella, Colorado, Rob Hermann, Florida, Dan Mello, Virginia and Tony Thomas, Georgia
1997 - Doug Paulson, Minnesota
1998 - Ginny Errett, Indiana
1999 - Joe Russell, Minnesota
2000 - Mike Hess, Washington
2001 - Norm Osteen, South Carolina
2002 - Chris Horpel, California
2003 - Dick Wince and P.J. Smith, North Carolina
2004 - Charles Burton, Nebraska
2005 - Tony Ersland, Illinois
2006 - Gordy Morgan, Minnesota
2007 - Don Murray, New York