John “Pete” Murray was a two-sport star for the Hardin-Simmons University Cowboys from 1952 to 1957, playing football in 1952, 1953, and 1956, and basketball from 1954 to 1957. He is one of only four Division I athletes to claim two team victories on the same day, playing football (HSU vs. Texas Tech) and basketball (HSU vs. Midwestern). During his senior year, Murray was named as HSU’s Most Outstanding Athlete.
Murray graduated from Hardin Simmons University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1957 and a Master of Arts degree in economics in 1959. Pete played semi-pro basketball in New York the summer of 1956 and was a member of the 1957-58 Washington Redskins.
He was born Dec. 22, 1933, in Lubbock, Texas, to R.J. and Helen Murray. He graduated from Arlington High School prior to his enrollment at Hardin-Simmons. While at HSU he met Anita Louise Mullino, and they married on April 12, 1958.
Pete coached at Brownwood High School for six years before becoming offensive coordinator for Texas A&I from 1966 to 1969, during which time the squad went 35-8-0, won a national championship, and was national runner-up. The Javelinas captured three Lone Star Championships during the span. In 1970 he took the position of head football coach at Lubbock Estacado High School where he coached five seasons before taking a position at H.M. King High School where he served as athletic director and head coach until 1990.
A gifted athlete and coach, Murray was inducted into the HSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. He was named Lubbock Avalanche Journal Coach of the Year in 1970, was inducted into the Coastal Bend Coaches Hall of Fame in 1993, and inducted into the Gordon Wood Hall of Champions in 2009.
Pete is survived by his wife, Anita; his daughter, Melissa and her husband, Kirke Mechem; daughter, Melanie and her husband, Glenn Gerzik; son, Benjamin; brother, David Murray; and three nieces.
Murray passed away Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Ruidoso, New Mexico. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday, May 10, on the Hardin-Simmons campus, Logsdon Chapel, located at Pine and Ambler.