Thank You, Tim McMurray (Part 2)

Russell has already said his final words to Tim as our AD, so I am taking this chance to do the same thing, but with a different twist.

Tim,

Well, I hate to say I knew this day would come, but I have to say I am thrilled for you to find what you found as far a new position. Sure I will wish you were here even if your sucessor is a great guy/girl, but its more than just your success as an AD.

I remember when you got the job and it was not long before we got connected. The talk of “Oh gosh, another SMU/Dallas guy” was quickly silenced when it was apparent that you were here for the long haul, and my gosh did you work as hard possible to make us best in class.

Football finally went back to the top of the Division II hill in 2017. Our Women’s Basketball program took the next step from being conference contenders to being national contenders. Men’s Basketball and Track, and Golf continued with our storied traditions, while Women’s Track became elite as did Women’s Golf. Soccer remained contenders, and you got some really great people to come in and try to take programs that had never been places to the next level. Softball you took over in the very beginning and before you know it, we were hosting NCAA Super Regionals and going to National Tournaments. Things were are good and still are good.

Not every season in every sport was great. We had some disappointments and tough losses in all sports along the way, and sometimes it caused us to be kind of rough in our opinions, but I always remember what you would say “fair, but firm.” I swear that is one of my favorite sayings now because of you. When I heard that, that was your way of saying; “I get it, but remember let’s lift up and not tear down.”

Our facilities have gotten from basically being the worst in the conference to being greatly improved. I was convinced it was time to tear down University Fieldhouse and replace it, until I saw what you did with it and it made me realize we could take this institution of a building and just improve. Why tear down when improvement is all that is needed? It made me think of a lot things in that regard. When you came, Memorial Stadium was just, well Memorial Stadium. Then it became Ernest Hawkins Field at Memorial Stadium. “The Hawk.” Tradition was back, and it was there to stay. You embraced the community, and we embraced you. You were all about keeping our beloved traditions while at the same time pointing to the future. You were put behind the eight ball as soon as you got here, but never used thats as an excuse, and you showed us what an old airplane hanger and old venerated football stadium could be, Best In Class. On Saturday nights in Northeast Texas during the fall, all roads started to lead to Commerce, Texas. You showed us that vision, now it’s up to us to take it and run with it.

Finally, I will say this. I will miss having you as our AD, but I will miss you more as a friend. I didn’t just enjoy talking about the athletics with you, but with everything in life. I enjoyed seeing you and talking to you. When you had challenges in your life, with the passing of your Father and Vicki’s cancer, we were there with you and you reciprocated when we told you about challenges in our lives. You are more than just an AD, you are a friend, and a good one. You and Vicki represented our athletic department as well as anyone could or ever has. While we are happy for you and your next step in God’s path for you life, Texas A&M-Commerce will be just a little bit less off with you guys not here. Our diplomas and class rings read; Ceaseless, Fearless, Unfettered, and Unselfish. Both of you embodied those attributes, and you brought in like minded people to keep that mission going. This is where we say goodbye, so happy trails, my friend. God Bless you and Vicki, and I pray he keeps both of you firmly in His Hands.

Always A Lion,

Brian