Class of 2004
Harold Murrell is known as the winningest coach in Athens State history, twice led ASU basketball to the final 8 ofthe NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City.
Murrell grew up in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee where he was introduced to sports at an early age. Figuring this would be a good escape from the sharecrop farming ways ofhis family, he quickly became a two-sport star in both basketball and baseball.
This led to an athletic scholarship at Martin Methodist College in the early 1960's and in 1962 he joined the Athens State Bears basketball program under the direction of Coach Oba Belcher. This team became the first basketball team from the state of Alabama to participate in the NAIA National Tournament.
After graduation, Murrell spent five years at Ardmore High School from 1965-70 and returned in 1972 for two more seasons. He led the Tiger basketball program to seven county championships and one state tournament appearance while garnishing four regional "Coach ofthe Year" honors.
In 1975, he returned to Athens State as head baseball coach and assistant basketball coach. In 1978, he was elevated to head basketball coach after the retirement of Coach Belcher.
During his tenure, the Bears recorded seven 20-win seasons and five additional years of 18 wins or more. Four of his teams won the Southern States Conference championship and therle were two "Final Eight" appearances in the NAIA National Tournament.
For his efforts, Murrell received three NAIA District Coach of the Year honors as well as the Alabama Small College Coach of the Year. His career record at ASU include 33 years with 508 wins and 371 loses.