Birmingham-Southern mourns the loss of coaching legend Murray Arnold

Coach Murray Arnold (center) with Marvin Smith (BSC '79)
Coach Murray Arnold (center) with Marvin Smith (BSC '79)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern athletics lost a key member of the foundation of its basketball program this week in former men's basketball coach Murray Arnold, who passed away Tuesday evening in Deland, Fla., at the age of 75.

Arnold coached the Panthers from 1970 to 1978, leading BSC to a 157-74 record during that time. In Arnold's final season the Panthers won the NAIA District 27 title and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament for the first time in program history. He was inducted into the BSC Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.

Overall Arnold coached basketball for more than 40 years, serving as head coach at five institutions including BSC, compiling a career record of 420-229. He was a 1960 graduate of American University and, after coaching at the high school level from 1957-68, he started his collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Florida State. After two years with the Seminoles, Arnold was hired at Birmingham-Southern for his first head coaching position.

After leaving the Hilltop, Arnold served as head coach at Chattanooga from 1979-85 and Western Kentucky from 1986-90. He then coached professional basketball for two seasons in Perth, Australia, before returning to the U.S. to coach basketball at Okaloosa-Walton Community College. In his second season there he won the 1995 NJCAA National Championship.

Arnold finished his coaching career at Stetson University, where he coached from 1997-2001.

During his career he took four teams to the NCAA Tournament, won three conference tournament titles, and had six players who were drafted into the NBA.

In addition to his head coaching stops he had short stints as an assistant coach at Mississippi State and with the Chicago Bulls.