RIP a true Michigan Man.
He traded his helmet wings for Angel Wings. A tough decision Im sure.
I'm a bit too young to have anything personal to say about Vada Murray. I don't remember him playing, as anything other than a guy with cancer.
It's one of the great things about the internet, though, that the collective can make up for any one individual's shortcomings. Wolverine Historian put together a Murray highlight reel that lets you see what Jamiemac wrote about a couple years ago in HTTV—Murray and Tripp Welborne blocking everything in sight—amongst other things:
RIP. Also if you would talk to God about lightening up on the safeties now that would be good.
RIP a true Michigan Man.
He traded his helmet wings for Angel Wings. A tough decision Im sure.
You'll be missed, Vada.
I remember Murrary and Welbourne could jump so high and were so good on blocking kicks, it got to be that you expected them to do it every time an opponent lined up for a field goal. Good times.
Murrary and Welbourne were also legends on the IM basketball circuit in their time at Michigan. Should come as no surprise given their major ups.
They had a team with Murray, Welborne, Derek Alexander and a couple of the TE's and lineman and would just put on a dunk fest spectacle that was fun to watch. As a referee, I was pretty much useless for their games because I essentially was a spectator.
We got creamed by those guys in the IM playoffs. I had the pleasure of matching up against Vada. I managed to put up 12 on him, but that was mostly because he was busy dunking at the other end.
My condolences to his family; particularly thinking of his son and two little girls. So sad.
did he do any high jumping on track and field? Those FG blocks were quite the sight, along with the surge the DL got off the snap. I like the combo of pushing back the FG team 3 yards back followed by a guy that looks like he can dunk on a 14ft rim.
Give Bo a hug for us Vada
Very sad news, I remeber Vada Murray very well, he was a great run stopper and very athletic. Prayers to his family.
When I was a student ('95-'99), Vada was often assigned to the stadium gates as an AA cop on game days. Cool name. Great defender. RIP, big fella.
Thanks for being an inspiration.
How about World Peace while you are at it?
Great human being.
Thoughts and prayers to his family.
I recall VIVIDLY that blocked PAT by Vada against UCLA, at the Rose Bowl (not in the Rose Bowl, but a Sept. game at the Rose Bowl).
I was in my 2d year in law school at a school in northern california, and one of my buddies there had gone to UCLA as an undergrad. When we saw UM was at UCLA, we got tix and road tripped it down. Six hour ride right to the game; saw the game; drove back home.
UCLA had just scored in the 4th quarter to make it a 16 pt. lead, and the block kept it at 16. I said to my friend, that's key, it's still 2 scores. He and the rest of the UCLA guys around us blew me off like, whatever dude. Then UM scored, and got a 2 pointer, so we were down 8. We got the ball back, and scored with under a minute (or something like that). Went for 2 to tie... and missed. Had to kick the onside kick... and recovered it. Drove a little ways, went for the field goal with no time remaining... and scored, to win by 1 at the gun.
So, Vada basically saved the game for us.
The ONE thing I remember most about that game? THE UCLA COEDS IN BIKINIS IN THE STANDS. I hadn't seen anything like that... undergrads in bikinis at the game... I mean, the girls don't roll that way in the Big 10. My buddy was like, yup, welcome to LA. And, these were UCLA undergrads, so... the bikinis looked GOOD on them. Realll goooood. I think there was a football game there too, but I'm not sure I paid attention.
Thanks Vada for the memories!! You will truly be missed! My condolences go out to Vada's family and friends. Stay strong and GO BLUE!!
The blocked kicks are what everyone remembers, but he and Tripp Welborne were a fantastic duo to have in a defensive secondary. Solid in coverage and great in run support. Vada could really bring the lumber; had a scary moment in the 89 OSU game where he was down on the field for 5-10 minutes (think it wound up being a pinched nerve) after completely wrecking an OSU ballcarrier.
He'll be missed, but always well remembered.
I've been trying to remember what game that was. I was only 11 at the time, but I'll never forget how odd it was to see so many people so quiet. One of my clearest memories of watching UofM games as a kid -- that and, of course, watching Vada and Tripp jumping over the line to block kicks, so he's actually a part of two of them.
Was thinking the collision was with Todd Plate after Plate had intercepted OSU?!? Or am I misremembering? I recall that the Plate collision was on a pick (he had 2 that day), and that we waited around forever for the player to move.
That is all.
The world has been a better place for his time on earth.
...just sad tears.
I'm 45 so of course I do remember Murry. He's one of the many great Wolverines out of Ohio that Bo used to get on a regular basis. I wish his family the best in this difficult time. Go Blue!
Non smoker and his parent did not smoke-Not fair. RIP Vada.
You always hear people say that players are more athletic today than they were back in the day but I haven't seen a safety with mad ups like that in a while. Those blocks were something else.
not "athletic for a Bo Michigan guy" or "athletic for an '80's player", but just plain athletic.
He would start on any current CFB team.
Family remains in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. The sun will shine again.
Here, I'll speak of the football player. I know it's hard for some to think what it must have been like, but he and Tripp weren't just a special team novelty, but a fearsome pairing at safety. Back before our cornerbacks were All-Pros, it was the safeties that led the secondary. Vada's athleticism combined with Tripp's speed and power, if either one of them wasn't the best safety we've ever had, certainly as a tandem they were our best. You really couldn't have one without the other. Except now, we have to....
I have many fond memories of watching Vada Murray, back when Michigan's defense was outstanding year after year.
My condolences to his family; losing a father and husband in the prime of life is always tragic.
Thanks for perfecting saying what I am thinking (except I was in high school when Vada played).
Opposition field goals and PATs were excitnig b/c of Vada and Tripp. Vada also served the Ann Arbor community as a police officer.
This is just really, really sad and unfair. I know there is a no politics/no religion rule around this board, but folks, if you are so inclined, please remember Vada and his friends and family in your prayers.
I remember when he came to Bacon's class last year before the OSU game. He was intense as hell. Lots of f bombs. I was about ready to put on a helmet and hit somebody.
I sometimes wonder how some of our past players would have been rated coming out of high school if Rivals/Scout were around back then. Well, Vada was without question a five star...although he was obviously much more than that to the university and Ann Arbor community.
Here's hoping we can snag a safety of his caliber in this year's class. RIP.
during the 88 seaason so I remember him fondley. He was a great player and seems to have been a even better man.
RIP and Hail! Vada Murray. What a playmaker he was!
As always, thanks to Wolverine Historian for the video.
Great defender, impressive. Too soon to go.
... seeing him on campus every now and then in (officer) uniform and telling my friends (east coast transplants), "that's Vada Murray!" They were like, "who?" I wanted to introduce them to one of the best players I remembered from my youth, but I didn't for some reason. I think it was because I was running the naked mile.
of Michigan football was Vada and Tripp jumping what seemed to be 20 feet in the air to block fieldgoals in the late 80s and thinking two things: Michigan players can do things that are physically impossible for other teams' players to do, and some Moms must love their kids more than mine loves me because those names are AWESOME.
Thank you for being a part of my childhood, Mr. Murray.
Like DB, I do hope that Vada and Bo are sharing a sub sandwich together right now.
Will miss a former classmate who was nice enough to have us over after 95 UM Virginia game...
and God granted his request. Now that he is a little older, and cant jump so high; he can use his wings. Bo is still in awe.
My condolences to the Murray Family in their time of sorrow. I remember Him and Tripp Wellborne flattening receivers who tried to run deep routes over the middle after one or two times their arms shortened up about 6 inches or so.
I was saddened to hear about Murray's death. I had read about him here in recent weeks and I feel terrible for his family. However, I have to admit that I didn't remember his name from his playing days. I see why now -- it was during my California hiatus, post college and law school, but before moving back to the midwest. I was a huge Michigan fan always, but back then there was no internet, let alone MGoBlog, to obsess over the details. Yes, I was in one of those clans then.
However, I now realize how much I remember one of Vada's key plays. I was at the UCLA game in 1989 (which shows up in the video), which was played in the Rose Bowl but not during the Rose Bowl game -- just a regular season road game in September. (How many times did Michigan play a regular season game in the Rose Bowl? Now that I think of it, I can't remember another example.)
It was a great game during Bo's final season. We fell behind, came back, and when the chips were down the football gods were on our side. I vaguely remember the blocked extra point (or was it a field goal?). But, my god, the onside kick was incredible. The ball bounced perfectly over UCLA's front line and Murray swept around and grabbed it. I remember reading in the paper the next day (back then, we got our news on newsprint) that during a brief time out immediately following the play, Bo excitedly told the team that "We're Going to Win!!" For a stadium that gave Bo and all of us so much heartache, it was a shining moment and Bo got to be a little kid.
RIP Vada Murray
Unfortunately, several months later, when I was back in the same stadium for Bo's last game, we all had to endure another loss to the bastards from USC. That memory is outweighed, however, by the magic game in September when it all went our way. Thanks to Vada for his role in it.
Thanks to Brian for recognizing and WH for the video... memories of Vada, the '89 team and my frosh year at UM. For a minute, I was back in the Taylor House lounge watching that UCLA game on TV. What great memories of a great chapter of life and a great era for UM.
RIP Vada - may God's blessings be on your surviving family.
Some say the ball bounces your way, some say you make your own bounces - to me it looks like he just
had great hands! RIP
That UCLA game was one of those rare deals where Michigan actually came back to snatch a victory out of the jaws of defeat. It was the culmination of a great day and great football doubleheader. Ohio State got CRUSHED by USC in the Coliseum, and from there, we loaded up on a chauffered bus to Pasedena and saw the Michigan-UCLA nightcap. My seats were such that the onside kick came straight at me.......I think it was JD Carlson (?), who closed the deal with a last minute FG for the win.
As they used to say in the old beer commercial."It doesn't get any better than this"
Bo Schembechler knew how to pick 'em!
Being a huge MICHIGAN Football Fan growing up in suburban Detroit in the 70's, 80's, and through today, I knew of and enjoyed watching Vada's superior defensive play on TV. In otherwords in our house, Vada Murray was a common name used in describing MICHIGAN's superior defense. It wasn't unitl August of 1999, I meet Vada at Schoolcraft College's Police Academy. I as a canidate and Vada as my Physical Training Instructor and Mentor.
Ofc. Murray (Ann Arbor Police Department) while in the Academy, he never spoke or bragged about his accomplishments on the MICHIGAN Grid Iron. Oh, he would talk to you about it, only if you asked and showed a genuine interest. He showed us canidates a mental toughness that we would need to utilize as police officers in working the streets. Needless to say, your teachings of mental toughness and never say die attitude, have stuck with me. These teaching are the cornerstone in my accomplishments as a police officer and in my recovery in a near death incident.
God Bless your Wife and Children and Rest In Peace Vada, you will never be forgotten. Hail to the Victor! You are the Leader and Best!
K-9 Ofc. Robert Fortney #311
Wayne County Airport Police