Renaissance Man: Upper School Head takes role as goalie coach


Running off the field during a tiring soccer game, junior Bailey Brand receives an encouraging pat on the back and a ‘Good job!’ from the new 2016 varsity goalkeeper coach, Terry Murray.

Although Murray, Head of Upper School, is normally seen in a suit and tie, this winter, he trades his formal wear after school for athletic clothing and joins the Hockaday varsity soccer team on the field as the goalkeeper coach.

Murray has been involved in soccer for most of his life and began his career as a goalkeeper around the fourth and fifth grades. After college, he continued to play soccer, and the sport has continued to be a central part of his profession no matter where he was.

“Whatever teaching I have been doing, I’ve had coaching in there,” Murray said.

When he first began teaching at a boy’s school, he gained a position as the school’s goalkeeper coach and advanced to lead assistant for 10 years.

At the Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School, the school Murray worked at before Hockaday, he was the head soccer coach for 13 years. Apart from his in-school coaching experience, the current Head of Upper School coached for an academy company and directed CMC Soccer Camp in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Murray has also coached other sports, but soccer is his passion. He appreciates the inclusivity of the sport, and the fact that men and women play the exact same way.

“It’s one of the few sports where your body type or size or speed doesn’t always matter. You can always find a way in,” Murray said.

Although he did not coach last year, Murray loved attending Hockaday soccer games, and last year’s Southern Preparatory Conference (SPC) convinced him that he needed to start coaching again.

“Watching the girls and watching all their games at SPC kind of got my bug going again last year,” Murray said.

After Tina Slinker told head coach Rodney Skaife about Murray’s interest in coaching, Skaife approached him and offered the specialized position of goalkeeper coach.

Skaife and his players see the benefits from this recent addition as another coach means more feedback and insight.

“The goalkeepers would say they feel like they’ve got some extra support, and the general team thinks they have another set of eyes looking,” Skaife said.

Sophomore Ashlye Dullye, a first-time goalkeeper, appreciates having one-on-one training from a coach that sees the game through the eyes of a goalkeeper.

“He’s really understanding, and he offers a lot of good advice about my technique,” Dullye said about Murray.

Terry Murray himself has gained a lot from the experience, as coaching allows him to work with students in a different environment and see them in a new way.

“It’s so vital in our jobs as teachers or coaches or administrators to make sure that we’re seeing students in spaces that are different than just the classroom, because you get to know students so much differently and you get to see the true learner and the true person they are,” Murray said.

From the opposite perspective, Junior Bailey Brand appreciates her being able to see Murray in a different setting than his administrative position.

“It’s nice to have someone that isn’t just a coach that’s there supporting you nonstop. It really makes you feel like the school cares,” she said.

Although he has been able to attend nearly every practice of this season, Murray’s schedule is extremely busy, so he will most likely have to take this commitment year-by-year.

Skaife has appreciated Murray’s assistance this year as he now has another coach helping out.

“We very much like to think that we’re all interchangeable and that we can cover for each other so it’s nice to have someone around to give feedback,” Skaife said.

– Ali Hurst – Asst. Castoff Editor –