Show me a person who doesn’t like Bill Murray, and I’ll show you a liar. I was first introduced to Murray through “Space Jam” in 1996. His banter with Michael Jordan and Larry Bird on the golf course sucked me in. Then, a magical entrance changed my life forever.
“Perhaps, I can be of some assistance?” he asks.
Some assistance he was. Murray immediately took over the huddle from Jordan and started drawing up a play. Although MJ had the audacity to dismiss Murray’s scheme (Now that I’m older, I question Jordan’s coaching abilities. What was he thinking asking his star player to play defense?), Murray’s energetic enthusiasm for hoops clearly runs deep.
His son, Luke Murray, shares the same passion for the game and made a career out of coaching college basketball.
Bill Murray’s Son Luke Murray
Luke has steadily climbed the college coaching ladder since graduating from Fairfield University in 2007. His first gig was as the director of basketball operations for Quinnipiac University. He then was an assistant coach at Post University and a graduate assistant at Arizona before Dan Hurley hired him as a full-time assistant at Wagner in 2011.
Murray made a pitstop at Towson for a couple of seasons before rejoining Hurley’s staff, who was at Rhode Island at the time. Xavier head coach Chris Mack came calling after two years and brought on the young basketball coach in 2015.
It was with the Xavier Musketeers that Murray started gaining a reputation as one of the country’s best recruiters. He helped reel in three-straight nationally ranked-recruiting classes during his time with the Big East program, and when Mack was hired by Louisville to replace Rick Pitino in 2018, he brought Murray along to be his recruiting coordinator.
Coach Murray once again shined on the recruiting trail. He was instrumental in helping build the Cardinals’ 12th ranked recruiting class in 2019, and the 17th best class in 2021. During his time at the ACC program, Murray also primarily worked with perimeter players.
But, when there’s an old boss you get along with, it’s an easy decision when they offer a job. So, when Dan Hurley asked Murray to join his staff in his third season at the University of Connecticut, he accepted.
In his first year on the UConn bench, the Huskies finished third in the Big East and look poised to make a run in the NCAA Tournament. When they do, you can expect to see Bill Murray in the crowd supporting his son. The elder Murray has been a fixture at the big dance when his son’s team makes the tournament. I remember first seeing him make an appearance when Luke was on the Xavier coaching staff.
Seeing the relationships Murray has built and the results he’s produced, assistant coach Luke Murray may not be around much longer. We could very well see Murray, who’s 36, lead a men’s basketball program of his own very soon. For now, Murray’s focused on his duties in Storrs and the Big East Tournament in New York City.
And when Hurley is looking for a second opinion on strategy, Luke can borrow a line from his dad.
“Perhaps, I can be of some assistance?”
It didn’t work as well as it could’ve for Bill and MJ, but I have a hunch Hurley would welcome Luke’s.