KINGMAN – As a number of freshmen and transfer students take their seats for the first time Wednesday at Lee Williams High School, another new face appears on campus.
Shane Murray, an Oklahoma native, officially takes the helm as athletic director after he took over for Jacob Iodence during the summer.
“I never thought I would be sitting in this office,” Murray said. “I’m really grateful that I am.”
Murray spent most of his time in Oklahoma as a high school biology teacher and coaching his youngest daughter’s soccer team, but couldn’t pass up this opportunity after getting a master’s degree in athletic administration and another one in educational leadership.
“My dream was eventually to be an athletic director,” Murray said. “So I’m living the dream now. This is everything that I’ve been looking forward to.”
Murray jumped right in – working all summer on athletic schedules, transfer forms and other duties as Lee Williams athletic director.
However, he is still getting familiar in his new role.
“This is my first AD position – so every day is a learning experience for me,” Murray said. “I get advice from everyone who’s done it before.”
There has been one person in particular who has helped Murray make the transition and that is Kingman High’s Athletic Director John Venenga. Murray actually moved to Kingman in December and spent last semester as dean of students at KHS.
“I’m still great friends with John Venenga over at KHS,” Murray said. “He helps me with a lot of stuff. I give a lot of credit to him – I can call him anytime and he’ll help me out. Then, of course, everyone here has been really helpful. Matt O’Neil has been an AD before and I have a great secretary in Jenay Trujillo who knows a lot.”
Murray will also have a familiar face on campus as his eldest daughter is set to begin her freshman year at Lee Williams. That fact should provide stability for Lee Williams and based on how the city of Kingman has welcomed him, Murray won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
“Lee Williams is a great place to be,” Murray said. “If you can’t succeed here, you’re going to have trouble succeeding anywhere. There’s reasons why people want to be here and it’s very obvious – there’s a family atmosphere. Not that it wasn’t at KHS – I love those people at KHS and I’m forever grateful for them giving me a chance to get here.”