Limestone County lost one of its sports legends Monday with the passing of former Ardmore High School and Athens State University basketball coach Harold Dean Murrell Sr.

Murrell died at Parkway Medical Center in Decatur.

The Lawrence County, Tenn., native began his coaching career at Ardmore, where he led the basketball team to seven county championships and one state tournament appearance while receiving four Regional Coach of the Year honors.

He also served as basketball coach at Northwest Junior College in Phil Campbell.

Murrell retired as head basketball coach and athletic director at Athens State University. During his tenure, the Bears recorded seven 20-win seasons and five additional years of 18 wins or more. Four of his teams won the Southern States Conference championship and there were two “Final Eight” appearances in the NAIA National Tournament.

For his efforts, Coach Murrell received three NAIA District Coach of the Year honors as well as an Alabama Coach of the Year. His career overall record included 33 years with 508 winds and 371 losses.

The 2004 inductee into the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame was the winningest basketball coach in ASU history and also coached the school’s baseball team.

Murrell’s funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Spry Funeral Home Chapel with Mike Davis officiating. Burial will be in Gatlin Cemetery. Visitation is 6-9 p.m. tonight.

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