The Jaguars have lost one of their biggest fans with the passing of Rick Murray, a season ticket holder since the team's inaugural season who developed a strong friendship with coach Tom Coughlin.
Murray lost a nine-year battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) when he passed away Wednesday evening at his home in Mandarin. He was relentless in his struggle to overcome the debilitating effects of the disease and his book, "Rick's Reflections," was recently released.
"You have accomplished more from the neck up than most of us have accomplished in a lifetime. You are an inspiration to all who know you and we look to you for wisdom and strength," Coughlin wrote to Murray some years ago.
Coughlin had befriended Murray when the two met during an Ireland vacation in the summer of 2000. Coughlin was the Jaguars' head coach at the time and the two maintained their friendship when Coughlin became the head coach of the New York Giants. Coughlin paid a special tribute to Murray at the coach's Jay Fund golf tournament dinner this year. Murray's home is littered with Coughlin memorabilia.
From his office at Giants Stadium on Thursday, Coughlin told jaguars.com: "We all have our own Hall of Fame; people who have touched our lives deeply and inspired us to live our lives more fully, to appreciate the precious gifts we've been given. Rick Murray sits in the front row of my Hall of Fame."
Despite his affliction, Murray rarely missed a Jaguars home game. He attended practice during mini-camp in May and posed for a picture with the Jaguars' wide receivers.