Murray Sanford dies at 72; longtime referee at masters nationals

Murray Sanford

Murray Sanford

I didn’t go easy on bigwig USATF official Murray Sanford over the years. He made a suspicious call at 2006 Charlotte nationals to un-DQ a friend of his from Georgia. But Murray, who died last month at age 72 after an “extended illness,” was a Hall of Fame official who supported masters track by refereeing at many of our meets. I met him first at 2005 Hawaii nationals (where he hassled me over photo credentials), and I chatted with him many times since, including at Sacramento and Olathe nationals. He also drew my attention to his fellow Georgian Charlie Ross. Murray was a tough cookie who knew the rules, and didn’t cut critics much slack. But he tried to hold masters track to the same standards of officiating as the senior (elite) nationals and Olympic Trials. “Murray was a gentle man who cared about our sport, our young athletes and our association,” said his association. “He was the first person to arrive at a meet and the last person to leave. He taught many of us how to officiate and how to be good stewards of this sport. He will be missed by all.” His memorial was Nov. 24, but donations may be made to the “W. Murray Sanford Memorial Scholarship Fund” via Wells Fargo Bank, or via PayPal.

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December 2, 2013

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