Francis Murray was a two-sport All-American, 1937 winner of the Class of ’15 Award and former University of Pennsylvania Athletic Director when the Ivy League began to take shape.
On the gridiron, Murray was a member of the “Destiny Backfield” of 1936 and excelled as a ball carrier and a control kicker, and was named the “best coffin corner kicker in the nation.” In 1936, he was named to the All-United States team, a squad of 11 men who could play all 60 minutes a game. In 1937, he participated in the East-West Shrine game. Following his graduation, Murray continued to play in Franklin Field, competing for two years with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1939 and 1940.
Murray was also an outstanding guard on the hardcourt, and was named a Helms Foundation basketball All-American in 1937. Statistically, he was the best defensive guard in what would be the Ivy League, with the fewest points being scored on him.
Named in 1950 as Penn’s first Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Murray was an adept administrator, leading Penn into the Ivy League. Murray also advocated freedom of television airwaves to the NCAA in 1949, a proposition that, at the time, was defeated. His jersey is currently retired in the Van Pelt Library.