It is always an honor to be named to a hall of fame, but it is even more special to be part of an inaugural class. Such is the case for Katherine (Neely) Murrie, a former NAIA National Champion golfer for Lipscomb University, who has been named to the first ever Logan County (Kentucky) High School Cougar Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame. Murrie, the 1999 Kentucky State Champion golfer, is one of nine charter members in the class. The induction is planned for Feb. 6 between games of the Russellville-Logan County basketball doubleheader. Murrie spent some time with lipscombsports.com to talk about her days at Lipscomb. her family and the hall of fame honor.
What years did you play golf at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played from 2000 to 2003. Ralph Samples was my coach."
Why did you choose to attend Lipscomb?
"I was recruited by Lipscomb out of high school and had some connections through my coach and my community in Kentucky. But I decided to go in a different direction and went over to North Carolina to UNC-Greensboro.
"I figured out within my first year golf was not something I wanted to pursue as a career after college. Greensboro was a great place to be if that is what I had wanted to do.
"I was very drawn to Nashville, Coach Samples' stories and what a great education Lipscomb was. Coach Samples called me the `prodigal daughter'. Going away made me realize how important a Christian education was and what being in a community like Nashville would mean to me long-term. It paid off in spades for me."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"There are a lot of memories but one of my favorites is about Coach Samples. Coach Samples was such a great asset. People have all kinds of different, crazy stories about him. He was so great for me from a mental standpoint.
"We were down at Southern Miss. I was having a good tournament but I had a bad couple of holes and I told him I just couldn't pull myself out of it. I didn't know what I was going to do.
"He was sitting on the tee box. He stood there for about five seconds in silence and lo, and behold, he starts singing a David Allan Coe song to me. It was completely random. It caught me completely off guard. Of all of the people in Coach Sample's CD collection I would have thought David Allan Coe would be the last one.
"When he started singing it just pulled me right out of my problems with my game. I was like, oh my goodness I can't believe this is happening. It was hilarious. His singing is not pretty but his psychological theory worked for me."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"Coach Samples. I had a pretty decent year at Greensboro, but I definitely didn't have all of the tools I had when I won the NAIA National Championship.
"I remember the first year I came on board at Lipscomb Coach Samples was walking with me at Legends Golf Club. That is when he really started helping me with my mental game. With all sports that is 95 percent of the battle and it is certainly the case in golf.
"He taught me how to think through the game and to not let the game get the best of you. That was huge for me. It was like night and day in my playing abilities when I got connected with him because he was so helpful in the psychological aspects of the game."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"It would be the friendships I formed at Lipscomb. I have really strong ties with people I went to school with there. That is a really fun story to tell. I have been gone for over 10 years but I can still name seven or eight people I am very close with and still keep in contact with. It just made the college experience beyond sports so much fun.
"These folks did not play sports at Lipscomb. They were students I met in the dorm or in class. The community feel of the university is one of the great parts about going to Lipscomb. Athletes and non-athletes all had kind of a common core."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"The thing I learned from business school at Lipscomb is to never lose sight of your core principles, your core faith and ethics.
"I have taken those with me. We had a pretty rough go in banking until a couple of years ago during the recession. There were times when it would have been easy to lose focus on what is important. The faith I gained from my Lipscomb education and the values and the lessons I learned I try to use every day. I am not perfect but I certainly do value the lessons that I learned."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"Steve Little. He was a fairly new professor in the business school when I was there. He taught the policy and strategy courses and senior level classes. He had a lot of practical experience that he brought to the classroom that was invaluable."
Where do you live now?
"We live in East Nashville."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I work for Regions Bank. I am a commercial treasury officer. What that means is I work with businesses primarily with revenues between $50 million and $250 million. I concentrate on how they pay their bills and work with their tax cycles with bank products and services that help them achieve their optimal tax cycles."
What was your reaction to being named to the hall of fame at your high school?
"It was really a surprise and an honor. I had not talked to anyone on the athletic staff in a while so I didn't know they were planning this.
"There are some pretty cool names I am attached with from that community. It is an honor to be in a class with people I idolized when I was growing up who went on to play college and pro sports. It will be a lot of fun to catch up with those folks again."
Tell us about your family.
“My husband, Jason, is an attorney. We have one daughter, Nora. She is 2-year-old. She gives us a run for our money.
“My husband has a sports background, but he didn’t play a sport in college. His father, Joel, was the head baseball coach at Western Kentucky for about 31 years. He is a cross checker for the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim). His brother, Nate, is a professional scout for the Toronto Blue Jays.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.