Remembering a Pioneer


This past weekend I was on the road in Athens, Ga., for the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic. Despite chilly temperatures, the 34th the edition of the Murph went off without a hitch, as the host Bulldogs won for the third consecutive year. All in all, it was a good time, as I watched some of the best female golfers in the nation. But all weekend long, there was a void at The University course, and I was not the only one who felt it.
This was the first time the tournaments namesake wasnt out there in her red and black, cheering on every golfer who teed it up. Liz Murphey passed away this past November, and for those who are unaware of her impact on womens athletics not only in Athens, but across the board, thanks and appreciation might not be enough for the doors Murphey opened along the way.
The first ever womens golf coach at the University of Georgia, Liz Murphey oversaw the program for two decades. In 1973, the LMCC began humbly, and was rightly renamed after the Hall of Fame coach in 1995. It continues to be one of the oldest continuous sporting events in all of womens college athletics. As Head Coach, Murphey produced 2 individual National Champions and had her teams post 6 top ten finishes between 1979-1985 in the years biggest event.
Murpheys also served as the Senior Womens Administrator for UGA athletics, playing a vital role in Georgias emergence as a National power in womens sports. Those close to the program know and understand the importance of Murphey to the Georgia Bulldogs.
While women were battling for equality and opportunity in the 1970s, Liz Murphey was providing it for them. So as she looks down and smiles at the legacy she leaves behind, may she rest comfortably knowing the impact she made has changed the face of sports as we know it. She was a pioneer in the truest sense of the word, whether she realized it or not.
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