SOCON COACH OF THE YEAR: 2010 • 2011 • 2013 • 2014
Colette Murray was named head coach of the Chattanooga Mocs women's golf program on January 19, 2006. Her charge was to restart a program that had been dormant at UTC for a couple of decades.
She has wasted little time in making her mark. In seven seasons, Colette’s charges have won five Southern Conference Championships among 16 total team titles. In fact, the Mocs won four times in that first year (2007-08). Murray’s squads have captured at least one team win in each of her seven campaigns.
Chattanooga has reached NCAA postseason play in EVERY year since Murray returned the Mocs to the tee. The inaugural season saw Emma de Groot (2008-11) qualify individually for the 2008 NCAA East Regional. Since then, the team has made six appearances in a row. The first included a major splash. Murray’s Mocs entered the NCAA East Regional on the Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio and finished eighth to advance to the NCAA Championship.
A tireless worker, her passion and dedication to the game is easy to see. So is her commitment to building an elite program based on the department’s mission of Equipping for Success and its vision to Achieve Excellence.
Through the 2014 season, Murray’s Mocs have won five straight SoCon Championships and boast the last four medalists. Emily McLennan (2014) kept the string alive with a four-stroke win following in the footsteps of de Groot (2011), Jordan Britt (2012) and Agathe Sauzon (2013).
She is a four-time SoCon Coach of the Year (2010-11, 2013-14) and boasts the 2011 and 2014 SoCon Golfers of the Year in de Groot and Britt. She’s had three SoCon Freshmen of the Year – de Groot (2008), Maria Salinas (2009) and McLennan (2013) – along with 16 all-league performers and an NCAA All-Regional Tourney finisher (Maria Juliana Loza in 2011).
Christine Wolf (2008-11) and de Groot moved on to the pro ranks upon graduation. Wolf earned partial status for 2014 on the European Ladies Tour and her full card on the LET Access Tour. de Groot is in her third year on the Symetra Tour. Expect Britt to join the dynamic duo in the fall of 2014.
de Groot and Wolf set virtually every school record. Emma won six times with a program-best 74.54 stroke average. Wolf holds records for best 18 (66, 2011 JMU Eagle Landing Invite) and 54-hole (209, 2011 JMU Eagle Landing Invite) totals.
Her teams have twice finished among the top 40 in the nation on the course. After ending up No. 39 in 2010, Chattanooga came in at No. 31 to end the 2011 campaign. The squad just missed in that special 2009 year still posting a top 50 at No. 44.
The athletic side is not the only source of excellence. She has seen her team flourish academically as a unit along with several individual accolades. Loza graduated from Chattanooga in the May 2013 with a near 4.0 grade point average to move on the prestigious Stanford School of Engineering for her Master’s program. She is one of seven WGCA Scholar All-Americans (Britt, Mette Kryger, Yushira Budhram, Marion Duvernay, Isabella Loza and Emily McLennan) in the program’s brief history.
Murray’s Mocs have posted a 3.5 or better grade point average seven times with a high of 3.8224 in the spring of 2014. The 2011 squad ranked No. 13 in the nation among NCAA Division I women’s golf programs with a 3.649 cumulative g.p.a. That was followed by a No. 10 finish in 2012 (3.621) with every student-athlete earning Dean’s List honors as three – Maju Loza, Britt and Kryger earning 4.0 g.p.a.’s in at least one semester.
Murray and her teams are active in their community in a variety of ways. While not vocal in their actions, the Mocs have been spotted chipping in with different charitable acts.
One of Murray’s favorite endeavors is the Player Development Complex. The Mocs’ practice home is shared with the First Tee of Chattanooga. Instead of just utilizing the facility, Murray and her student-athletes have taken work days at the facility which has a two-fold effect.
One, the team learns all that goes into making their practice home functional. Secondly, it gives them a better appreciation for what others do to make it an elite game-building experience.
In May 2011, Murray received special recognition for her impact on the lives of young people. The Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland honored her with the Empowering Women Global Award.
She’s a 2004 graduate of Jacksonville State University with a degree in General Studies with a concentration in Psychology. She was a four-year letter winner earning seven top-10 individual finishes and 15 top 20’s. Overall, Murray and her teammates claimed 10 team titles.
She gained her first taste of coaching experience working as an assistant to JSU Head Coach James Hobbs, a longtime, successful collegiate head coach. In 2005, Murray helped guide the Gamecocks women's team to the Ohio Valley Conference Championship and the program's first-ever trip to the NCAA Regional Tournament. JSU placed 20th at the NCAA East Regional.
A native of Dumfries, Scotland, she was a member of the Scottish golf team. She also represented Scottish National Teams for both lacrosse and soccer.
Murray completed PAS (Plott Advanced Systems) qualifications, Reaching Your Potential Inc., a program that relates personality with movement in discovering your own learning styles. She is TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) certified golf fitness instructor.
MURRAY AT A GLANCE
SOUTHERN CONFERENCE TITLES
SOCON COACH OF THE YEAR
WGCA ALL-AMERICA SCHOLAR
NCAA INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIER
2008: Emma de Groot, Christine Wolf
2009: Maria Juliana Loza, Maria Salinas
2011: Jordan Britt, Yushira Budhram, Marion Duvernay
2012: Mette Kryger
2013: Emily McLennan