By Meliyah Venerable / Managing editor 

Head women’s wrestling coach Carl Murphree announced his retirement last month. Throughout Murphree’s career here the women’s wrestling program has grown tremendously, as well as its reputation. 

Murphree decided to join the wrestling program just before the 2002-03 season, so he is nearing 20 seasons as head coach. Before coming to Valley he coached high school soccer and wrestling in Napa, California. 

“I had followed Valley’s women’s wrestling team for a few years, while I was coaching HS boys and girls in California.” He said  “The timing for me was good, as my youngest had just graduated from HS. The opportunity at Valley was a great way for me to continue my campaign to grow women’s wrestling and to try something that was not California.”

While in Napa, Murphree had a part in the initial setup of women’s high school wrestling. In 2006 he was inducted into the California Women’s Wrestling Hall of Fame, and he continued to make a name for himself throughout the NAIA in his almost 20 years of coaching. 

Although he may have initially dreamed of becoming a rock star, Missouri Valley women’s wrestling has excelled following Murphree. 

“I do recall thinking that I could be a drummer for a rock band, I was quite proficient at bongos, rock drummer seemed within reach. Of course, pro sports was something I dreamed about,” Murphree said.

“I grew up in a very education-oriented family- there are more PhD’s than children in my family,” he said. “I have never reached great academic heights, but have never lost my love for learning and increasing my knowledge base.” 

And Murphree’s dedication to the sport of wrestling shows. The team won National titles in 2004 and 2005. There have been 81 all-Americans named, and 11 National champions through his 20 years. Murphree has also coached women who have competed at the Olympic level. In 2005 he won the WCWA Coach of the Year as well. 

Although he is leaving Valley he has countless memories that will forever be remembered.

“There are so many memories. I think the collection of conversations with both students and staff had at lunch, is what I value and will remember most fondly,” He said. “Valley is blessed with such a diverse community, people from all over the world and all having their own unique views.”