Murray just completed her seventh season with the Mocs. Her squad won its fifth straight Southern Conference Championship and the fourth consecutive sweep with Emily McLennan winning medalist honors. Not only is she the fourth Moc in a row to win individually, but there have been four different champs as she joins Emma de Groot (2011), Jordan Britt (2012) and Agathe Sauzon (2013). Pretty remarkable.
All seven seasons, Murray’s Mocs have been a part of NCAA Regionals. In the inaugural year of 2007-08, de Groot qualified as an individual. The team has made it every year since with the 2008-09 squad earning a berth in the NCAA Championship.
Talk a little bit about your collegiate playing career at Jacksonville State.
“It was nothing stellar to be honest. My senior year was the one year I really enjoyed being over here and playing golf and embracing all that is the college game. When I was a junior (in Scotland), I loved playing, but I did struggle the first few years in college. It was hard being that far away from home.”
What made you decide to come to the States?
“The opportunities at home weren’t there (for golf and college). If I hadn’t come out here, I probably would not have gone to school to further my education. I was lucky this opportunity was available to me.
“I had a year out after high school, and I knew I didn’t want to go to university in Scotland. There is a huge drinking culture back home, and that is just not who I was or who I am. All my friends went off to uni in September. I had been working since I was 16 anyway, but I took on two more jobs. So I was working in a fish factory and two restaurants (she laughs), and it didn’t take me long to figure out I didn’t want to do this for the rest of my life.
“A friend of mine went to play golf at Bethune-Cookman. She came home at Christmas and told me, ‘Colette you got to get out there, you’d love it’. So we looked into College Prospects of America. That’s how I got there, I’m a product of CPOA.”
What was the highlight of your collegiate career?
“When I started coaching (she served as an assistant at her alma mater after completing eligibility). Within months of being there, coach handed the reins over to me. My senior season was a really good year, we won a bunch of tournaments. It was good fun…I had great teammates throughout my years there. The highlight though was winning conference my first year as a coach.”
How does your experience as an international student-athlete aid in coaching now both internationally and in the States?
“It helps me more with recruiting than the coaching aspect. Parents, in particular, I think like that I’ve experienced that. Their daughters will be in the hands of someone who can relate to them. It’s really more so with parents, not so much an advantage, but I’m someone who can relate with the struggles of being so far from home.”
What is so special about Chattanooga for you?
“I just love this town. I’ve travelled the world almost, I haven’t been to Australia or Asia, but I’ve been to a fair amount of places. I’ve yet to find somewhere I love more than Chattanooga. I love Scotland and miss it, but I’ve found a home here. The people here are just so friendly. I was walking through the Chattanooga Market with my brother and people were popping up and saying ‘Hi Coach’ and ‘Hi Colette’ and even my brother commented how friendly everyone was. I’m just a massive Mocs fan…I go to just about everything. I’ve just embraced everything that is Chattanooga, and I feel attached not only to the school but the city. Chattanooga is a wonderful town, and the University has been very good to me.”