The Spokane native comes to Clackamas after leaving a highly successful collegiate program at Whitworth University

by: JOHN DENNY - Darcy McMurray comes to Clackamas after a successful coaching career at Whitworth University. Whitworth won five conference volleyball titles and earned five berths to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament in the 13 seasons that McMurray assisted at the school.Darcy McMurray, recently named to replace longtime coach Jim Stultz as Clackamas High School’s head coach in volleyball, comes to Clackamas with some pretty impressive credentials.

McMurray has been around athletics and volleyball for most of her 41 years, as the daughter of a coach, as an athlete, and as a club and collegiate volleyball coach in the state of Washington.

McMurray’s father, Len Long, has been a high school coach for over 40 years. The retired educator and Washington state high school Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee has coached track, cross country and basketball, and he still coaches track and cross country. His cross country teams at North Central High School in Spokane have won eight of the last 10 Washington big-school state championships, and they were national champions in 2008.

Darcy McMurray is a 1991 graduate of Meade High School in Spokane, where she competed in track and field, softball, basketball and volleyball. She was a starting guard on a basketball team that won the Washington big-school state championship her junior year and placed second at state her senior year.

Her junior year she was an outside hitter on a team that placed third at state in volleyball and she was a first-team all-league selection in volleyball as a senior.

Her high school play in volleyball gained McMurray a full-ride scholarship to Western Washington University. She transferred to Whitworth University, where she set a school record for most digs in a match.

She gained her elementary education certification from Whitworth in 1996.

McMurray’s coaching career began her junior year in college, when she began coaching Spokane area elite club teams. She taught first grade and coached club volleyball in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, before returning to Spokane and Whitworth University in 2000.

She served as an assistant volleyball coach at Whitworth from 2000 through 2012, while teaching elementary school and building a family with her husband Aaron McMurray.

“In my last 13 years of coaching at the Whitworth University we won five conference titles and earned five berths to the NCAA [Division III] Tournament,” McMurray says. “And we made the sweet 16 in the tournament three times.”

Darcy and Aaron McMurray moved to Happy Valley with their four children last summer, when he was hired as vice-president of institutional advancement at Warner Pacific College.

The McMurray’s have twin boys who are sixth graders and daughters who will be attending the first grade and kindergarten this fall. The children have been engaged in a variety of activities since moving to the area, including basketball, soccer, track, gymnastics, dance and volleyball. It was while attending her kids’ activities that McMurray learned of the opening for head volleyball coach at Clackamas.

“I kept hearing about this Clackamas High School coaching job that was coming open,” McMurray says. “People kept telling my I should apply. I’ve missed coaching. I missed the girls in the fall and I missed the gym, so I put my name in. I applied, and they hired me.”

McMurray says she will likely someday return to teaching elementary school, but for the present she says she’s got a full plate, coaching at Clackamas while trying to keep up with four children.

“I miss teaching, but right now life is full with what it is,” McMurray said. “Trying to be a great mom, a great wife and a great coach is going to keep me pretty busy.”

McMurray says she has gotten to know former coach Jim Stultz in the transition to becoming head coach at Clackamas and is very impressed with the program he has in place.

“He’s an incredible man and he has built an incredible volleyball program here,” she said. “I plan to continue what Jim has created, with very few changes; and to build on that foundation.”

McMurray says that longtime club director Nadia Boria will continue as director of the North Clackamas Volleyball Club and of the junior league program.

Whitney Santos, whom McMurray coached three years at Whitworth, just finished up her degree in communications at Whitworth and will be McMurray’s varsity assistant.

Nathan Blankenship, who has coached club volleyball in the area, will be jayvee coach; and Lisa McBee, who also has experience in club, will coach the freshmen team.

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