Mike Murray Jr.
Mike Murray Jr. is the Director of Athletics and Head Varsity Baseball Coach at Saint Joseph High school in Metuchen. Prior to COVID-19 shutting down the 2020 spring season, Mike was entering his fifth season as baseball coach and completing his third year as AD in 2020.
Over the last month, Coach Murray has helped spearhead the statewide idea for the “Last Dance” NJ baseball tournament. After the cancellation of the 2020 spring season, Coach Murray presented an idea to run a College World Series style tournament to allow teams to get together one last time. Currently, the tournament is awaiting full go from NJDOH and NJSIAA summer regulations, but has 187 teams registered. You can read more about it at bottom in articles.
In five years as Head Coach, the Falcons and Coach Murray have sent 21 players into college baseball. Saint Joe’s has had four consecutive winning seasons under Coach Murray, posting 71 wins, 2 Division Titles, A GMC Title, and a Non-Public A South runner up. The Falcons have posted four wins over NJ top 5 ranked opponents and 11 top 20 wins in Coach Murray’s tenure.
Mike is the Director of Demon Jacket summer baseball camps, he also is the manager of the Baseball U North 18U graduating Senior summer club. Mike’s 18u club closed out the summer of 2019 winning the Diamond Nation Blue Chip Tournament.
Coming off of a Non-Public A South state tournament run that saw the Falcons upset Bishop Eustace and CBA, the 2020 Falcons were poised to make another run at Non-Public A South and a rematch with state preseason #1 St. Augustine. The Falcons received preseason recognition in the Top 15 of the NJ.com poll and were ranked #16 in the preseason Northeast rankings by Perfect Game. Coach Murray’s 2020 roster features nine players committed to play in college including ACC pitching commits Adam Boucher (Duke) and Donovan Zsak (Virginia). Additional college commits include Seb Mueller (Quinnipiac), Matt Sot (Alvernia), Caleb Carter (Brookdale), John Zarnowski (Scranton), Demarcus Shepard (MSU), Nikko Matos (Caldwell), Michael Wojciechowski (Mt. Aloysius).
In coach Murray’s fourth season at the helm in 2019, the Falcons won 20 games for the second time under Mike, captured a Division Title, and were the Non-Public A South runner up, finishing the season as one of the Final Four Non-Public A teams playing in June. The Falcons earned three top 20 wins defeating St. Joe’s Regional, Christian Brothers Academy, and Bishop Eustace. Senior Jake Hellwig broke the Saint Joseph high school program wins record on the mound. Hellwig (County College of Morris), Tom Faggioni (Alvernia), and Derek Zelesnick (Catholic) were 2019 Senior Falcons that continue their career at the collegiate level.
The 2018 Falcons in Mike’s third year as Head Coach posted a fifteen win season, good for the third consecutive winning season under coach Murray. The club posted signature wins against #3 Don Bosco Prep and #9 St. Joseph regional. Jon Sot, a four-year starter, broke the Saint Joseph high school hits record. He continued his career on the gridiron at Harvard University, where he has been twice been named All-Ivy league punter. The author of several big performances on the mound, Kyle Subers, is now the ace at Lafayette college. His rotation mate Nick Estes (MCC), also continued his career in the college ranks.
In Coach Murray’s second season leading the Falcons, the Falcons won the GMC Tournament Championship, had a twenty win season, went 17-3 against GMC opponents, and had eight players earn All-GMC Accolades and two All-New Jersey members. Kyle Angel was named GMC Pitcher of the Year and joined on first team by Ross Maertz and Brandon Warick. Jot Sot and Angel were named to nj.com’s All-State teams. In Coach Murray’s second season, the offense raised their team batting average 59 points and slugged 19 HR’s, an increase from one in the 2016 campaign. Coach Murray was named the 2017 GMC Red Division Coach of the Year and the NJ.com GMC Coach of the Year.
In Coach Murray’s first season as Head Coach, the Falcons won 16 games and advanced to the semifinals of the Greater Middlesex Conference tournament. The team finished in a tie for 3rd in the Red Division with a 9-7 league record. During the 2016 campaign, The Falcons defeated then #1 team in the state, Steinert, 3-0 in the Autism Awareness Classic. During the 2016 season, the Falcons defeated two state champions from the season prior (Old Bridge, Cranford).
Coach Murray was a 2012 Union County Tournament Champion and 2013 North II, Group IV State-Sectional Champion while Assistant Varsity Coach at Westfield High School.
Coach Murray played in the San Francisco Giants organization from 2010-2012 where he was named Northwest League Player of the Month, Northwest League All-Star, and was a Northwest League 1st team All-League selection in 2011. Coach Murray finished his professional career with a .331 career batting average. Prior to his stint with the Giants, Mike played at Wake Forest from 2007-2010 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Coach Murray Captained the Demon Deacons and was a three-year starter at Catcher. During his collegiate summers, Coach Murray won championships in the Valley Baseball League and the New England Collegiate Baseball League. In 2009, Mike was a Cape Cod League All-Star and All-League selection playing for the Chatham Anglers.
Coach Murray was a four-year starter at Westfield HS, twice being named 1st team All-State and was an All-American as a Senior in 2006. He is a 2016 inductee to the Westfield High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He is Westfield High School’s All-Time leader in hits (155), at-bats (331), home runs (19), RBI (145), and extra-base hits (59). Coach Murray hit a school record (.560) as a SR, and is the record-holder for lowest strikeout percentage, striking out in just 12 of his 331 varsity at bats.
Coach Murray comes from a coaching family, his dad Mike Sr. was a youth coach for more then 20 years in Union County after a playing career in the Chicago White Sox system. Mike’s younger brother A.J. (Georgia Tech) and sister Brittany (Maryland Softball) also captained their Division I teams. Mike’s brother A.J. was the 2011 New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins. Mike Jr. holds a Master’s Degree in Sports Business from the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University, a Bachelors Degree from Wake Forest University and is pursuing his law degree from Rutgers University Newark. He has directed and run club baseball programs across the state, placing local players at top universities across the country.
Coach Murray in the News:
MyCentralJersey December 2015:http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/sports/high-school/baseball/2015/12/11/westfields-mike-murray-jr-named-st-joseph-baseball-coach/77148986/
Sports on Earth article on Coach Murray and family (August, 2014)http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/86696618/aj-murray-cape-cod-league-baseball-chatham-georgia-tech
ACC All-Access Feature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tryy75eUPyI
2011 Northwest League Roundup:http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110831&content_id=23992386&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_t578&sid=t578
Cooperstown Article: http://www.cooperstowndreamspark.com/WhereAreTheyNow/Profiles/wherearetheynow_profilesMikeMurray.html