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MPSSAA Title IX Trailblazer Mildred Murray


Mildred H. Murray was a tireless trailblazer for girls high school sports in Maryland.  Her career expanded over 43 years; with 30 years as an athletics administrator in Baltimore County.

After attending Fairmont State College where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education and later studying at the University of Wisconsin where she earned her Masters’ Degree, Ms. Murray began her teaching career at Kenwood High School in Baltimore County.  From the start in 1948, Ms. Murray coached girls Field Hockey, Basketball and Softball. Her teams won numerous county championships and her development of the Kenwood Girls’ Athletic Association was the model for many other Baltimore County Schools.  She was the first woman to be named an Athletic Director in Maryland 

Appointed Supervisor of Secondary Girls’ Physical Education and Athletics in 1961 she was able to expand opportunities for girls sports in Baltimore County. In the early 70’s,“the era of Title IX”, Baltimore County was already recognized as implementing one of the most progressive Physical Education and Interscholastic Programs in the country.  Throughout her career, Murray gave girls more chances to compete on the county and state level. By the time Title IX became law in 1972, leaving every public school system in the country scrambling to add girls sports, Murray already had Baltimore County's girls almost on par with the boys.


In 1977 she was appointed Baltimore County Coordinator of Physical Education and Athletics. In this position she administered all aspects of the girls’ and boys’ Physical Education and Interscholastic Athletic Programs.  “When I went into the county office as coordinator, we continued to add sports so that the women's program would be as equal as could be to the boys' program in opportunities, facilities, equipment, coaching and all that's related to interscholastic athletics," Murray said in 2012 when asked by The Baltimore Sun to reflect on the 40th anniversary of Title IX. 


Mildred organized and served as the MPSSAA (Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association) State Director of the first MPSSAA interscholastic State Girls’ Championships in Basketball (73), Field Hockey (75), Volleyball (75), Softball (76) and Lacrosse (90). She also served as the first female president of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) from 1978 to 1980.

She served on countless committees and in various capacities for many organizations. For her outstanding service, and distinctive leadership at the State, District and National level she received the following awards: Maryland Association For Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Merit Award, The William Burdick Award, The R. Tait McKenzie Award, NAGWS Pathfinder Award, the inclusion of her name in the Who’s Who In American Women, and member of Alpha Kappa Gamma the Intercollegiate College Sorority For Outstanding Women In Education to name a few.

After providing forty three years of service to the students and teachers in Baltimore County she retired in 1991. In retirement, she continued her professional involvement by volunteering in the Maryland Association for Health, Physical Education and Dance (MAHPERD) office.

"I remember when she retired, the comment was made that if you think of all the kids during her professional lifetime who have benefited from her work, it probably is about 2 million when you consider every girl across the state [who plays] in state tournaments, but also just by providing the opportunities for girls and advocating for girls," said Ned Sparks, who worked with Murray while he was executive director of the MPSSAA from 1981 to 2015.  The girls’ basketball sportsmanship award is named the Mildred H Murray Sportsmanshjp Award in honor and recognition for all her efforts to promote girls’ interscholastic participation.


The soccer field at CCBC-Catonsville is named the Joseph P. and Mildred H. Murray Field, because he was the dean of development at the community college and she chaired several of the first girls state championships there.


In addition, Mildred was a firm believer in educational support for physical education majors.  She had such an appreciation for the quality of educators Towson University generated that she established an endowed scholarship in her name, The Mildred Murray Scholarship Fund, which has supported over 20 future teachers/coaches. She left Towson University a generous estate gift to ensure support for future generations of physical educators/coaches.


A scholarship for a male and a female athlete from the Baltimore County Public Schools had been awarded for many years under the sponsorship of the BCPS Coaches Association.  Using the monies from the coaches association and from Mrs. Murray's estate, the Mildred H. Murray Scholarship Foundation was organized.  This group sponsors the scholarship while coordinating the selection process with the BCPS Office of Athletics.  The recipients for 2021 received $10,000 each to aid in funding their university expenses.

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