May 15, 2002
On the heels of his announcement to retire from his head coaching duties at Santa Clara, former players share their thoughts on what Mitch Murray has meant to the Bronco Soccer program.
Cameron Rast - Former player and current Associate Head Coach
"Mitch has essentially been here since the beginning of the program's rise to national prominence. He was instrumental in identifying and recruiting players as an assistant coach and eventually leading this program, starting in 1991, to where it stands today among the nation's elite. I don't think you can understate in any way what he has meant to the program. I think a lot of his records and a lot of his success speaks for itself. He is a tremendous coach from a player's standpoint, having played for him. He has a great mindset for the game and knowledge of how to lead teams to success. He has a great eye for talent in that he is always able to identify the underrated player and take good calculated risks in evaluating how they will be able to perform for the program. As a co-worker, he has been great. I have been working with Mitch for eight years and have had a couple of opportunities to move on to other programs, but it is because of Mitch that I have stayed. It is definitely an environment that I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy and will miss deeply."
Jeff Stewart - Former player now with the Colorado Rapids
"It's hard to believe that he is actually leaving. He has been there for so long and meant so much to the program that I know he will truly be missed. He was like a father away from home for the four years I was at Santa Clara. He's the reason I went there and he is the reason I am playing in the MLS today. He is a great coach and a great man."
Burke Ewers - A returning senior for the Broncos next season
"Coach has always been an awesome guy on and off the field. He's been an amazing coach, leading us to the College Cup twice, an appearance in the finals against Indiana, another NCAA Tournament berth last year and the WCC Championship. So he is an amazing coach but he is an even better mentor. He has always been someone I can go in and talk to and I get kind of choked up just thinking about him leaving now. It will be tough to replace him.
Keith Burden - Finished his career in a Bronco uniform in 2001
"He made Santa Clara soccer what it is. It is a special type of play and not too many clubs out there can say that they have a special type of play, and Mitch has provided that for this school. Individually, he has been a tremendous asset to my soccer career. Bringing me here to Santa Clara and giving me a chance to play. He not only taught me a lot of things about soccer, but about life in general as well."
Scott McLain - A returning senior for the Broncos next season
"Mitch has put so much effort into developing us as players and as a team. Everything you learned from the guy was beneficial to you as a player and as a person. We will definitely miss Coach both on and off the field. He has done so much for me personally in giving me a chance to play here and making me a better person that I will miss him greatly."