Former Chattanooga Mocs Head Men's Basketball Coach Murray Arnold died last night in Florida. His memory shines bright in his former hometown where he built the DI foundation of the program.
Arnold had a six-year stint as the Mocs head man from the 1980 season through 1985. His teams went 122-46 winning 72.6 percent of their games.
He headed up five 20-win teams, including the 1982 squad that owns a school-record 27 victories and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. His Mocs topped an N.C. State team in the first round that won the 1983 NCAA Championship.
The 1983 edition went 26-4, losing a narrow 52-51 NCAA Mideast Regional game to Maryland. That team ended up ranked No. 15 in the nation by the Associated Press.
UTC won four Southern Conference Championships in his six seasons and advanced to three NCAA Tournaments and two NITs. His second visit to the NIT in 1985 resulted in an Elite 8 run, just missing a trip to New York City and Madison Square Garden.
He brought the likes of Willie White (1981-84), Gerald Wilkins (1982-85), Russ Schoene (1981-82), Nick Morken (1981-82) and Stanford Strickland (1981-84) to Chattanooga. His 1980 recruiting class included three NBA Draft picks (White, Schoene & Morken) and Strickland, who are all in the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame.
Arnold was born March 4, 1938. His impact on the Chattanooga Mocs basketball program will not be forgotten. He left the Mocs in 1985 to join the Chicago Bulls organization as an assistant to Stan Albeck. He later served as head coach at Western Kentucky and Stetson.
HEAD COACH JOHN SHULMAN ON MURRAY ARNOLD:
"He elevated Chattanooga basketball in the DI era, not with a bang, but with an explosion. All of us who have followed have to try to live up to his standard. We talk to our kids about leaving a legacy. Murray Arnold left his legacy in a huge way. He will always go down as the father of Chattanooga basketball. He was very well-respected nationally for his knowledge of the game. That knowledge and his passion for young people were evident every time you talked to him. Even after he retired, he loved talking basketball. He visited with our '05 team before the SoCon Tournament and told them we would win it. He knew what he was talking about. Chattanooga was always near to his heart and he will always be dear to our hearts in Chattanooga."
VOICE OF THE MOCS JIM REYNOLDS ON MURRAY ARNOLD:
"Basketball lost one of its great ambassadors. He had two great passions in his life. He loved his wife Ann Conn and he loved basketball. If he had a third thing I don't what it is. He always called her the head coach and himself the varsity coach. He put UTC on the Division I map and his teams in the early '80s will always be among the greatest teams in school history. He said when the Roundhouse opened in 1982 it was the 'biggest thing to happen to Chattanooga since the Civil War'."
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