Match Tough @ FCDS Teaching Staff

Mike Murray

Mike MurrayMike Murray was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida to Rick and Kathy Murray. His father has been the head director of tennis at Feather Sound Country Club in Clearwater, Florida for the last 29 years where Michael and his brother RJ learned the game of tennis at a very early age. By the age of 11 Mike had become the number one junior in the state of Florida and one of the top juniors in the country for his age. It was at this age when Mike and his brother began training with Billy Stearns of the Smith Stearns Tennis Academy. A highly ranked state and national player throughout his junior tennis career, Mike grew up playing against and training with current tennis stars Mardy Fish, Robby Ginepri, Amer Delic, Bobby Reynolds, Andy Roddick, and several others still on tour. He has seen and experienced first hand the dedication and work ethic it takes to be successful in this sport at the junior and collegiate level.

Mike finished his junior tennis career as the number one player in the state of Florida in the boys 18’s. He finished high school after his junior year and after much consideration he accepted a full scholarship to play tennis for Wake Forest University, choosing the Deacons over other programs such as the University of Florida, Clemson, William and Mary, and others. As a freshman he played positions 1-3 for the Deacons and led the team in singles wins as a freshman, achieving a singles ranking of as high as 60 in the country as a sophomore, and served as captain of the team his junior and senior years. Mike went on to become an integral building block for the proud tradition of tennis that Wake currently maintains today.

After graduating in the summer of 2003 with his Bachelor of Arts degree, Mike went on to work for Raymond James Financial where he worked in marketing for three and a half years but never lost his passion for tennis, continuing to compete in local tournaments and coaching whenever he could find a student. After earning his first professional world ranking points in 2007, Mike realized that tennis was more than just a fading pastime in his life. After parting with Raymond James Financial in June of 2007, he began teaching full time again at an academy in Florida where he realized that being on the court and motivating kids was where he was meant to be.

RJ Murray

RJ MurrayLike his brother, RJ Murray was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida where he grew up on his father’s tennis courts. Not far behind his brother, by the time he was 10 years old, RJ was already one of the top 12 and under players in the state of Florida. It was at this age that RJ began his tennis academy training with Billy Stearns in Largo, Florida. Under Stearns’ teachings, RJ also remained a top junior in the state of Florida reaching number one in the state at some point in all of his junior age divisions. He also acquired a national doubles championship and a runner up finish in the Easter Bowl as well as a singles national open title in the Boy’s 18’s at Stone Mountain Georgia during his junior career. As a top junior player at the state and national levels, RJ often crossed tournament paths with current touring pro Andy Roddick and several others.

RJ finished his career as a top junior on the state and national level and decided to take his tennis to North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. As a freshman, RJ played in the top of the line up and had the best record on the team earning him the Most Valuable Player award as a freshman. As a sophomore, RJ played #1 for the Wolfpack despite having a broken left hand. After that year RJ took on a new challenge and transfered to The University Of Alabama. As a junior RJ had the best SEC record on a team that reached as high as #13 in the nation and had its best win in school history over then #5 Rice University. RJ was voted team captain for his senior year at Alabama where he helped them clinch another huge victory by helping them defeat then #8 UNC Chapel-Hill.

After college RJ took a little time off from tennis until he arrived back at home and started teaching at his father’s country club with kids of all ages and skill levels and rediscovered his love for the game and helping other kids reach their full potential.