Courtney Nelson Murrell Athlete Profile

Courtney Nelson Murrell

Courtney Nelson Murrell
Position: Diving Height: 5-2 Roster Years: 1987-1991 Hometown: Concord, CA Hall of Fame: 2001

2001 Hall of Fame Inductee

An essential part of an athlete's success comes from the time spent in practice prior to actual competition. Unfortunately, when Courtney Nelson-Murrell, a platform diving specialist, came to BYU in 1987 the school did not have a diving platform on which she could practice. So, during the school year, Courtney would travel to Palo Alto, California, once a month to practice her platform routines at Stanford University. Then, after winter semester each year, she would spend the summer at Stanford practicing her routines and technique.

The traveling and hard work paid off for Courtney when she won the very first NCAA platform diving title in 1990. The next year Nelson-Murrell defended her title, earning her second consecutive national crown at the 1991 NCAA Championships with a score of 595.0 points, a mark that still stands as a BYU record.

Nelson-Murrell finished her university career with a total of seven All-America awards, the most decorated diver in Cougar history. Receiving awards in the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard as well as the platform, Courtney was a three-time HCAC champion and was named to the All-Conference team each of the four years she competed for BYU.

Courtney's success in diving came not only in college but also in international competition. She dove as a member of the U.S. National Team and, in 1989, received the Phillips 66 Performance Award as the outstanding competitor at the U.S. Outdoor National Championships.

In 1992 she was a finalist at the U.S. Olympic Trials in both the 3-meter springboard and the 10-meter platform. In the 3-meter springboard, she narrowly missed making the U.S. Olympic Team, placing fifth.

Away from the pool Nelson-Murrell has gone to great lengths to learn about other people and their cultures, particularly while she and her husband, Mark, spent 15 months traveling through 13 countries in the Orient. She also has hosted fund-raising walks for her company, raising more than $25,000 for charity during the past four years.

After earning a B.S. in health sciences from BYU in 1993, she completed a master's degree in exercise physiology at San Jose State University in 1996.

Currently Nelson-Murrell works as the exhibits and events manager for Coherent Inc., in Santa Clara, California. Courtney and her husband reside in nearby Campbell.

Personal

  • B.S. in health sciences from BYU in 1993
  • M.A. in exercise physiology from San Jose State University in 1996
  • Married to Mark

Career Highlights

  • Seven-time All-American
  • Two-time NCAA champion on the platform 1990-91
  • 10th on the 3-meter at 1988 All-American meet
  • Quarterfinalist at the 1988 Austin Cup
  • 1988 All-HCAC in diving for first on both boards
  • 1987 HCAC and Cougar Club scholar-athlete
  • First on 3-meter at 1988 NCAA Zone Meet to qualify for NCAAs
  • Honorable Mention All-America for ninth in NCAA platform diving
  • 14th at the 1989 NCAAs in platform prelims and 15th on the 3-meter for two All-America citations
  • In the summer of 1989 she finished second behind Wendy Wyland in the 10-meter platform at U.S. National Outdoors
  • Member of U.S. National Diving Team
  • Third on platform at the 1990 U.S. National Indoors
  • All-HCAC Team 1988-90
  • First on both boards at the 1990 HCAC Championships
  • Former BYU record holder on the platform (523.10).

Before BYU

  • Athlete of the Year at Clayton Valley High School
  • MVP of the swimming team for four years
  • Two-time prep All-American
  • 1986 California State 3-meter champion
  • Nor-Cal Diver of the Year 1982, 84, 85, 86
  • Member of the senior national team
  • 1987 World Age Group Team

After BYU

  • Dove in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 3-meter sprinboard and the 10-meter platform
  • Spent 15 months traveling 13 countries in the Orient
  • Hosted fund-raising walks for her company, raising more than $25,000 for charity during the past years
  • Works as the exhibits and events manager for Coherent Inc., in Santa Clara, California

Post BYU Honors and Societies

  • Narrowly missed making the U.S. Olympc Team, placing fifth at the trials
  • Inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame in 2001

1987-1988 | Freshman Year

  • Tenth on the 3-meter at 1988 All-American meet
  • Quarterfinalist at the 1988 Austin Cup
  • 1988 All-HCAC in diving for first on both boards
  • 1987 HCAC and Cougar Club scholar-athlete
  • First on 3-meter at 1988 NCAA Zone Meet to qualify for NCAAs
  • Honorable Mention All-America for ninth in NCAA platform diving
  • NCAA All-American

1988-1989 | Sophomore Year

  • Fourteenth at the 1989 NCAAs in platform prelims and 15th on the 3-meter for two All-America citations
  • In the summer of 1989 she finished second behind Wendy Wyland in the 10-meter platform at U.S. National Outdoors
  • Member of U.S. National Diving Team
  • NCAA All-American
  • All-HCAC Team
  • Received the Phillips 66 Performance Award as the outstanding competitor at the U.S. Outdoor National Championships

1989-1990 | Junior Year

  • Third on platform at the 1990 U.S. National Indoors
  • NCAA All-America
  • All-HCAC Team
  • First on both boards at the 1990 HCAC Championships
  • Won the NCAA platform diving title

1990-1991 | Senior Year

  • Earned her second consecutive national crown on the platform at the NCAA championships with a score of 595.0 points
  • Her mark of 595.0 still stands as the BYU record on the platform
  • Named to the All-Conference team