Grambling State University interim women’s basketball head coach Freddie Murray dropped one word in his title as he was named women’s basketball head coach.
Murray, Athletic Director Paul Bryant and GSU President Rick Gallot signed a two-year agreement in the president’s office in Long-Jones Hall. The coach has filled the job on an interim basis since July 2016. Bryant, who started as athletics director in January, said all coaches have been under review and it became clear to him early that retaining Murray should be a priority.
The university and Murray have agreed to a two-year deal with an annual salary of $120,000, contingent on approval of the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors. The contract extends from April 2017 through May 2019.
Gallot praised Murray’s vision and commitment to the university and the program. “I’m looking forward to us all growing old together here at Grambling State University,” he said.
“As a lifelong athletics and sports enthusiast, I appreciate and enjoy all sports. As a former basketball coach, I think I know something about what it takes to be a good basketball coach — and Murray has it all,” said Bryant. “He’s dedicated and focused, he knows the game, and he challenges and encourages his players to get the most out of them individually and as a team. Hiring him was a no-brainer.
“What Coach Murray did this year was nothing short of fantastic. Even with various challenges across the season, he took that team to the SWAC championship and on to the NIT in a history-making appearance since no SWAC women’s team has made it that far until Coach Murray took his squad there.”
Murray, a 1990 Jackson State University graduate, joined the Lady Tigers basketball program as an assistant coach under then head coach Nadine Domond. In his first year, he helped Domond and the Lady Tigers with a strong 17-14 overall record and 13-5 record in Southwestern Athletic Conference competition. Two players were selected SWAC All-Conference – Jazmin Boyd (SWAC Freshman of the Year) and Shakyla Hill (SWAC 2nd Team All –Conference). He took over as interim head coach when Domond left for Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Before joining GSU, Murray was assistant women’s basketball coach at Florida A&M University from 2010-2015, helping the Lady Rattlers to their best record in 2010 when they finished the season 22-8. In previous roles, he worked as an assistant coach at North Carolina A&T State University twice from (2003-2005) and (2007-2010). During his second coaching job at A&T, the team won three Mid Eastern Athletic Conference regular season championships and trips to the NCAA and WNITTournaments.
Murray also worked at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, from 2005-2007 and he was later interim head coach midway through the 2006-2007 season. Murray said he was excited to hear that he would become the head coach, something he has dreamed about.
“I really enjoy Grambling State University and all of its rich athletics history, and it’s been a pleasure to be a part of continuing that legacy at GSU,” he said. “I’m blessed to have the opportunity to continue to work with a great bunch of student-athletes as head coach, and I look forward to continuing to build on the momentum we built this year.”