With an eye on repeating as IHSA Class 4A state champions, Marian Catholic has hired former Immaculate Conception and Lisle High School head coach Dan Murray.
A head coach since 2000, Murray will assume the reins of a program that has won 13 consecutive regional crowns and made nine Elite 8 appearances during that span.
“It is with great enthusiasm that I join the Marian Catholic High School Community," Murray said in a media release.
Murray is a graduate of the University of Dubuque who will also join Marian Catholic's Physical Education staff.
“The women’s basketball program has a tremendous tradition of excellence and I am honored to be selected as the new head coach," he said. "My goal is to continue to produce a program that will represent Marian Catholic High School proudly not only on the floor but in the classroom and community as well.”
Murray completed three seasons at Lisle with a 61-27 overall mark, including an undefeated Interstate Eight conference campaign last year.
Prior to that, Murray compiled four regional titles and three 20-win seasons during a 10-year tenure at Immaculate Conception. His 2009-10 squad posted a 29-4 mark, helping him become the all-time leader in career wins in the sport at the school.
“We were fortunate to have a number of qualified candidates apply for this position and are thrilled to have someone of Dan Murray's caliber to carry on the rich tradition of women's basketball at Marian Catholic," Principal Sr. Kathleen Anne Tait said in a media release. "Dan's winning experience in other programs, commitment to Catholic education and insights into assuming the reins of a state-caliber program a few months prior to the season, made him a great match for Marian Catholic.
“He brings passion for the game and a strong commitment to continued development of the program.”
Marian has averaged 28 victories since the 2001-02 season. In addition to the 4A state title last March, the Spartans have also earned second-, third- and fourth-place trophies during that period.
“Dan Murray will bring an excellent resume as he is named the new mentor of the Marian Catholic High women’s basketball program,” Athletic Director Dave Mattio said in the same media release. “Dan brings a great background to the position. He has previous experience as a head coach in both the private and public school sectors. He has served as a lower level coach and has provided excellent leadership in programs as a head coach for 13 seasons.
“Dan has further enhanced his professional development by being a frequent participant in summer camps, clinics and youth programs. He will be an excellent addition to the Marian Catholic sports programs.”
Murray will succeed Annie Byrne, who left Marian as its winningest girls basketball coach with a 216-51 mark. In addition to last spring's crown and 33-1 record, her teams made five other Elite 8 appearances and had two other 30-victory campaigns.