In 1970, the University of Memphis Athletic Department officially opened what is now
known as the Bill J. Murphy Athletic Complex. The complex, which is situated on 140
acres and is located south of the main campus on Getwell Ave., is where most of the
Tiger Athletic programs train and hold competitions. Nat Buring Stadium, which is
home to the Tiger baseball team, is located just yards away from the main training
facility as is the Tiger track facility.
The complex is named after former Memphis head football coach Billy J. Murphy. The
main building houses locker rooms for football, baseball, track and soccer, as well
as the athletic training room, equipment room, turf room, meeting rooms and weight
room. The Murphy Complex underwent some major renovations in 2003 to the tune of $6
million. The renovations included expanding the football locker room, training room
and equipment room, as well as building new team meeting rooms and a large foyer that
can be used for banquets and the future Tiger Hall of Fame.
As part of the building addition, the athletic training staff has additional space
to provide excellent care for Tiger athletes. The area includes various taping and
treatment stations as well as offices for the athletic trainers and team physicians.
One of the highlights of the athletic training facility is the in-ground aquatic pool
which is used for rehabilitating injuries. In addition, the equipment staff received
increased space for sorting and storing uniforms and gear, as well as additional room
for its laundry facility.
Just behind the building are four 100-yard grass fields for football to utilize for
practice, as well as an additional field set up for soccer practices. Media and fans
are able to watch practices from a patio that was constructed just off the main entrance.
If weather conditions are not favorable for outdoor practices, the teams are able
to conduct practice in the indoor facility which features artificial turf. A portable
batting cage can also be set up for both baseball and softball to utilize.
The football team has a large locker room that includes such amenities as steam and
sauna rooms, in-house television and stereo systems, individual wood lockers for each
player and shower facilities.
The Tiger weight room, which is located just outside of the turf room, opened in
January of 1993 and is used by a majority of U of M student athletes. The 10,500 square-foot
facility features the latest in strength training equipment. The weight room is equipped
with 10 self-contained Olympic platforms and power racks, a plyometric/medicine ball
area, a complete dumbbell line (up to 150lbs in two and a half pound increments) and
a variety of hip sleds. glute-ham stations and other supplemental pieces allowing
athletes from all teams to perform an unlimited variety of exercises and movements.
Located just outside of the main building is Murphy Track, an eight-lane, polyurethane
tartan surface track used by the University of Memphis track teams for home events
and practices. During the summer of 1991, the University of Memphis hosted the World
Police and Fire Games. The track meet featured over 700 athletes from around the world.
During the summer of 1992, the U of M served as host of the Tennessee Sports Festival
which featured athletes from around the state. Murphy Track was also the host site
of the 1992 and 1993 Great Midwest Conference Track and Field Championships. Another
highlight at the Murphy Complex, features of the Murphy Complex, is the golf driving
range that is used by the men's and women's golf teams. A 5,000 square-foot Novagrass
artificial green was installed adjacent to the driving range in August of 1992. The
green, which features four sand bunkers and a self-contained irrigation system, allows
both men's and women's golf teams to practice their short games.
Plans are in the initial stages for further renovation of the golf practice facilities
at Murphy Athletic Complex. Future projects include an elevated teeing area on the
south end of the driving range to match the current tee box located on the north end
of the facility. Additionally, target greens for chipping and putting and a new irrigation
system are also included.
The University of Memphis softball team opened up play in its new $1.7 million complex
in 2007. The Tigers first official game at Lady Tiger Stadium on the Park Avenue Campus
came against Houston on March 24, 2007. The U of M officially dedicated its new softball
complex on April 7, 2007, before the final contest of a three-game series with Tulsa.
University of Memphis President, Dr. Shirley Raines, threw out the ceremonial first
pitch to Tiger catcher, Kimmi Hayden, to officially open the facility in front of
a capacity crowd. The stadium seats just over 200 fans and includes locker rooms for
both teams, restrooms, a state-of-the-art press box and a concession stand. The dimensions
of the grass turf playing field are 200 feet to left and right field and 200 to center.
Both teams have a bullpen next to each dugout with the capacity for two pitchers to
warm up simultaneously in each pen. A spacious batting cage sits behind the left field
fence. Also highlighting the field is a giant scoreboard and electronic message board