Murray High School (Kentucky)

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Murray High School
501 Doran Road
Murray, Kentucky 42071
United States
Type Public
Motto "Once a Tiger always a Tiger"
Established 1872
School district Murray Independent School District
Superintendent Bob Rogers
Principal Teresa Speed
Faculty 43
Grades 9 to 12
Enrollment 477[1] (2015–16)
Campus Small city
Color(s) Black and Traditional Gold         [2]
Slogan Pride, Tradition, Excellence
Athletics 14 varsity teams
Athletics conference KHSAA
Mascot Tigers
Nickname Tigers and Lady Tigers[2]


Murray High School is a public high school located in Murray, Kentucky. The school currently lies on the corner of Sycamore Street and Doran Road, but it was previously located on the corner of 8th and Main Streets where it had been from 1872 to 1971. The first school was erected by the community, and it was considered the handsomest school structure west of the Tennessee River, i.e., in what is now called the Jackson Purchase.[3] Until 1953, what is now the Murray Middle School building housed all the students in the Murray district, grades 1-12. Murray State University's first classes met on the first floor in the 1920s, and Kentucky's first Head Start was organized in the building in the 1960s. Murray High School ranked number 6 overall in ACT scores in the State of Kentucky in 2009.[4] Murray High School ranked number 11 of 227 in the KY school rankings of 2010–11.[5]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Clubs and organizations[edit]

Murray High's chess team has had recent success, claiming the state championship in four out of five years from 2004 to 2008.[6]

  • Academic Team
  • Band
  • BETA Club
  • Big Brother Big Sister
  • Black & Gold
  • Black History Club
  • Chess Team
  • Choir
  • Dawg Pound
  • FBLA
  • FCA
  • French Club
  • History Club
  • HOSA
  • Japanese Club
  • Key Club
  • Latin Club
  • Leadership Tomorrow
  • Skate Club
  • Skills USA
  • Spanish Club
  • Speech Team
  • Step Team
  • Student Council
  • Tiger Bank
  • Tiger TV
  • Y-Club
  • Yearbook


Murray High Football is well-known across Kentucky to be one of the best in Class AA. Murray High School had undefeated regular seasons in 2009 and 2010. The program has reached the third or fourth round of KHSAA Class AA Playoffs every year since 2009. Prior to moving to Class AA, Murray High School won the Class A state championship in 1961 and 1974.

  • Archery
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Dance
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball-Ladies
  • Water Polo


Murray High's band has arguably been the most successful activity at the school since its inception nearly 90 years ago. In recent years, the band has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City and at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. The Murray High Tiger Marching Band is regarded as one of the state's best, and has maintained a tradition of excellence for over 40 years. As a Bands of America Grand National Champion, the Tiger Band has enjoyed more success than most all Kentucky high school marching bands. The band has established itself as a formidable competitor in Kentucky's marching circuit, and is a perennial power in Kentucky's KMEA Class A. The Murray High Tiger Band is currently under the direction of Tim Zeiss and Beth Stribling. An abridged list of notable accomplishments is as follows:

  • BOA Grand National Champion - 1977
  • KMEA State Finalist - 1987, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • KMEA Runner-Up - 1997, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2015
  • KMEA 3rd Place - 1987, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016
  • KMEA 4th Place - 2001
  • KMEA West Regional Champion - 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • KMEA Semi-Finals Champion- 2005, 2016
  • BOA Class A Super Regional Champions (St. Louis) - 2006, 2016
  • Murray State Festival of Champions Grand Champion - 1976, 1977, 2012, 2015
  • Murray State Festival of Champions Reserve Grand Champion - 1978, 1979, 2002, 2005, 2011
  • MTSU Contest of Champions Finalist - 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979
  • Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - 1980
  • Orange Bowl Parade - 1975, 1977

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Gordon Cooper (March 6, 1927 – October 4, 2004), Mercury-Atlas 9 astronaut. He was the sixth American to be launched into space.
  • Mel Purcell (July 18, 1959 - ), a former World No. 17 tennis player in the ATP tennis rankings. Purcell's finest moment was when he reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 1983.
  • Molly Sims (May 25, 1973 - ), an American model and actress. Sims is best known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues and her role as Delinda Deline in the NBC drama Las Vegas. She is also an ambassador for Operation Smile.
  • Tim Masthay (March 16, 1987 - ), a punter for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. He played college football at the University of Kentucky. Masthay went to the Super Bowl (against the Pittsburgh Steelers) and emerged a Super Bowl Champion with the Green Bay Packers on February 6, 2011.
  • Shane Andrus
  • Matt Burke Singer/Songwriter - Toured nationally with MTM recording artists IN PURSUIT, including the 1st MTV Spring Break Concert with Mr Mister and Starship, opened the 1st leg of arena shows for A-ha, theatre & club dates with Nick Lowe, Paul Carrack, The Alarm, Crowded House, many others. Commercial composer credits on national broadcast projects for PBS, NPR, Time/Life Films, A&E Network, and others.
  • Kellie Overbey Actress—She is an actress and writer, known for Guiding Light (1952), Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Outbreak (1995) and several other notable plays and movies. In 2012 at FilmOut San Diego, she won the Best Screenwriting Award for "That's What She Said" (2012). Kellie has been acting on the big and small screen for over 20 years.

Historical timeline[edit]

  • 1872: Community leaders raise money to build the Murray Male and Female Institute, recognized as "the finest school in the Jackson Purchase"
  • 1900: The Institute catches fire (in "some unaccountable way," according to a contemporary account) and burns to the ground. The new "Murray Graded School Building" is built with state funds. It houses grades 1-12 in the Murray Independent School District. However, this second school building catches fire in 1919 during the Christmas break and also burns to the ground. It is believed that the fire was caused by students smoking and gambling in the boiler room.
  • 1922: A new three-story schoolhouse is completed. It includes an auditorium, a large library, and several classrooms.
  • 1930: The west wing, with several classrooms, a gymnasium and locker rooms, a home economics lab, and an unfinished third floor, is added onto the building.
  • 1939: Ty Holland Stadium is built by Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps and named for the Murray City School's highly respected teacher and coach.
  • 1953: With the construction of Austin Elementary (named for A.B. Austin, long-time member of the Murray Board of Education), the Murray school building becomes Murray High School.
  • 1958: The "Band and Manual Arts" building is added onto the Murray High campus to house band, music, and industrial arts.
  • 1971: The new Murray High School is built on Doran Road, and the school system is reorganized to include four years of elementary school, five years of middle school, and four years of high school.


  1. ^ "2015–2016 Audited School Enrollments (in alphabetic order)" (PDF). Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Retrieved August 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Murray High School High School Directory Entry - (# 197)". Directory of Member Schools. Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Retrieved August 10, 2016. 
  3. ^ Kentucky, a History of the State, Part II, J.H.Battle, W.H.Perrin, and G.C. Kniffin; F.A. Battey Publishing Co., Louisville, Chicago
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Kentucky Chess Association Blue Book". Retrieved 18 June 2011. 

External links[edit]