Former WKU coach Arnold dies

Murray Arnold/WKU Athletics

Herald Staff

Former WKU coach Murray Arnold died Tuesday night in DeLand, Fla. He was 74.

Arnold had a coaching career that spanned 43 years, including a four-year stint as head coach of the Toppers (1986-1990).

During his time in Bowling Green, Arnold went 71-54, including a 29-9 finish during his first year of 1986-1987.

That WKU squad, led by Tellis Frank, Brett McNeal and Kannard Johnson, won the Sun Belt Conference regular season championship and was ranked as high as No. 8 at one point in the season by the Associated Press.

The ’86-’87 Toppers went on to beat West Virginia 64-62 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to eventual national runner-up No. 10 Syracuse 104-86 in the second round.

However Arnold’s teams didn’t find as much success in his final three years at WKU, going 42-45.

He was replaced before the 1990-1991 season by Ralph Willard.

The University Park, Md., native’s last coaching job was at Stetson, where he went 42-47 from 1997-2000.

His resume included a 135-46 head coaching record at Tennessee-Chattanooga (1979-1985), a year as an assistant with the NBA’s Chicago Bulls (1985-1986) and a junior college national championship as head coach at Okaloosa-Walton Community College in 1994-1995.