The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE student mixes classes with coaching basketball

By Marley Malenfant/reporter

SE Campus student Matthew Murray aims the ball at the basket. Along with being a student, Murray also coaches basketball at Burton Academy in Arlington.
Corban La Fon/The Collegian

SE student Matthew Murray is a triple-threat.

Besides being a TCC student and a student of basketball, he is also a third-year coach. He got his first coaching job as a junior varsity head coach at Highland View Academy in Maryland.

Now at 22, he is in his second year as an assistant varsity coach at Burton Academy in Arlington.

Murray grew up in Takoma Park, Md., where he watched his father coach NCAA basketball for more than 20 years, and Murray followed his ways.

“Growing up as a coach’s son, I’ve wanted to be just like my dad ever since I could remember,” he said.

Richard Murray said his son was born to play basketball and never showed any other interest.

“He grew up on the court running around in his diapers,” he said. “He traveled with me and the players on the road.”

During high school, Murray started all four years on the varsity basketball team. He was also named all-state and all-district twice while in Maryland.

Murray said he had the opportunity to play college ball but turned it down.

“I was recruited to play ball at some smaller universities, but I didn’t have the money,” he said.

Murray said he got his coaching job because he knew the right people.

“The head coach and I played ball together in high school, so he asked me to help him,” he said.

The plays Murray calls on the court are an influence from what he learned from his father and the coaches he was around in Maryland.

Murray said his players run a full-court and a half-court press on defense. His players also run plays influenced by Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson.

“My coaching style is exactly how I played the game,” he said. “I had a coach that told me once that ‘By the end of the game if you’re not bleeding, you didn’t play the game.’ I took that to heart growing up, so now as a coach our team plays aggressive man-to-man.”

Zach Murray, a Burton Academy junior, said he takes advantage of his brother being a coach.

“He can help me at home and school,” he said. ”He’s big on defense and making sure teams don’t beat us down the court.”

Mayke Oliberia, a Burton Academy sophomore, said Murray takes time after games and practices to work on players’ individual strengths and weaknesses.

“He knows a lot about fundamentals,” he said. “He teaches us a lot of little things after practice. He tells me to work on my assist-to-turnover ratio and learn how to not throw the ball away.”

Richard Murray said although his son is a good player, he is a better teacher of the game.

“He’s always been into the how,” he said. “Even though he’s a player’s age, he’s able to show younger players the way. He was always a hard-nosed defensive player, and he’s showed that in his coaching ability.”

Matthew Murray said his father is his teacher and greatest influence on basketball.

“Ever since I was little, he taught me the game,” he said.

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