Murray McAuley’s journey in sport administration began in the 1970’s when he coached the Mount Royal College men’s volleyball team from 1970-1972 while completing his university education. Upon completion of his degree, he was hired in 1976 by the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in the role of Assistant Coordinator of Student Athletics while also coaching the Trojans women’s volleyball team and coordinating the Campus Recreation programs.
In 1981, Murray became the Coordinator of Student Athletics and continued in the position until he resigned in 1987 to pursue a personal business interest. During his tenure at SAIT, Murray was instrumental in the success of the SAIT Athletic program and also served on the executive boards of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference and the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association.
One of his early roles was serving as the ACAC Publicity/Media Chairman.
“As the publicity guy, I was proud in that we were able to get the Canadian Press to do something new and post allof our (ACAC sports) scores from across the province,” recalled McAuley, who later served as ACAC Vice President from 1983-1985. “So, instead of just having a game, say in Grande Prairie, mentioned only in their local paper, itwas mentioned in papers across the province.”
McAuley was also responsible for implementing the iconic ACAC logo: “I ran a contest to develop the ACAC logo and it was won by a SAIT wrestler in 1977.”
During his tenure as Trojans Athletic Director, some of the highlights included hosting the 1982 Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) men’s hockey and volleyball championships. The Volleyball Championships must have been exciting as it was won by crosstown rival Mount Royal College over the host Trojans.A trip by the SAIT Trojans men’s hockey team to China in 1983 also stands out.“We were the first real hockey team to travel to China,” reminisces McAuley. “Teams that had been there before were there to conduct clinics. We were there to tour and play exhibition games.
In 1989 McAuley was hired as the University of Lethbridge’s first full-time athletic director, a position he held until 1994.
Of his time within the ACAC, McAuley concluded: “It had the fondest memories for me. Everyone, no matter the college, was very collegial. You got along with everyone. I am proud that I was the first Athletic Director in the CCAA and, also at the (then Canadian Interuniversity Sport now known as U Sports) level to win championships at both levels.”
McAuley was inducted into the SAIT Athletic Wall of Distinction in the builder category for the Class of 1992,where it was noted that: “His intuition and foresight into potential funding problems at SAIT lead to him setting up of the Foundation for a fundraising / external body for this purpose. Even though the Foundation did not become a reality during his time at SAIT, the ground work was laid for the organizational structure of the Trojan Athletic Foundation.”