Memoir

On Shaky Ground

Murray Hurst, a coach in the NRL for several years, was infamously sacked as head coach of the North Queensland Cowboys in 2002.

He has been an influential figure in Queensland rugby league for more than 20 years, with an illustrious record. He coached Queensland Emerging Origin, Queensland State of Origin (as assistant to Wayne Bennett), Australia under-17 and Tonga at the World Cup in 2000 as well as numerous Queensland representative teams. As the NRL’s Queensland wellbeing and education manager, Murray brought compassion and strength to the role while working with families affected by player suicide.

He is a man who has shown that good leaders must be good listeners.

Murray credits his resilience and ability to listen deeply to growing up on the family sheep station at Surat in outback Queensland in the 1960s. He learned all about hardship, being the youngest of five on a working farm. Through drought, loss of sheep, floods and tough times, Murray learned the skills that he first brought to the field of coaching and now takes with him into his next challenge: a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

Told with simplicity and depth, Murray’s story is one of resilience, and it is far from over.

“Despite my coaching success, one thing remained constant: My wife and children were far more important to me than my career as a coach.” – Murray Hurst