Coming of Age: A Journey of Growth, Culture, and Spirit in Cajun Land
by Dr. Joseph H. Murry, Jr.
If you liked The University of Louisiana’s National Championship Weightlifting Teams, now you can read the autobiographical tale of another participant in that weightlifting saga.
From Dr. Murry: “This is the story of how I grew through my college days to become what I had only dreamed I could become and about the wonderful experiences along the way that helped us, my teammates and I, write a rich history of success and accomplishment in the legacy of USL athletics.”
While attending USL in the 1960s, Dr. Murry was the Gulf States Conference Champion in the shot put and was the captain of the Ragin’ Cajun Track Team. He also competed as a member of the Weightlifting Team where, as the team’s captain, he set four national heavyweight records en route to a national championship. His other weightlifting accolades include: AAU Jr. National Champion 1968 (three national records), AAU Sr. National Champion 1968 (two national records); All-American Weightlifting Team 1968; YMCA National Champion 1972; 1972 Olympic Trials (third place, Heavyweight).
After his ULL athletic career, Murry worked for a time as Strength Coach and Physical Coordinator for the Buffalo Bills in the NFL, then worked as an educator and award-winning administrator in the New Orleans public and parochial school systems. He has since been recognized as a member of the ULL Hall of Fame. This was his first book, as he felt that—after many years—the USL championship story “must be told.”
From the author:
“Everyone in life has a story. Some stories are dramatic, some are sorrowful and some are rather normal and ordinary. However, as we go through life, we come to realize that no matter how ordinary we may consider our own story, there is certainly meaning and uniqueness in it, and perhaps a few lessons to be gleaned; lessons which may enlighten, entertain and even inspire some in their own journeys in life and their stories yet to be written. This is my story of how I grew through my college days to become what I had only dreamed I could become and about the wonderful experiences along the way that helped us, my teammates and I, write a rich history of success and accomplishment in the legacy of USL athletics. It is a story of struggle, doubt, courage, tenacity, fate and most importantly love. It is set at a time in the world that the “times they were a changing”. It is a story of transition and growth in society, in cultural values and in our own growth and personal values. It is a story about a group of guys who all landed in that one place at that one time. Some of us chose to be in that setting and some of us were chosen to be in that setting. We were a melting pot with diverse backgrounds and cultures, yet were learned to come together in harmony to make history for ourselves and for USL. We chose USL or somehow USL chose us to do great things, make history, and ‘Come of Age’. “