Doherty HS Swim Team keeps late head coach's legacy alive

Murphy Barry died unexpectedly last summer at age 31
Posted at 10:33 PM, Jan 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-14 00:33:42-05

This past summer, the Colorado Springs swimming community lost one of its leaders. Murphy Barry passed away unexpectedly at 31 years old.

Her legacy now lives on through the athletes she coached at Doherty High School.

For the 11 seniors on the Doherty Swim Team, their high school experience has been anything but ordinary. From the challenges of COVID-19, to the heartbreak of losing their head coach.

"Those of us who are seniors got to know Murphy the best," team captain, Chay Newmeyer said. "We've just been trying to keep her legacy alive."

Katie Kennedy, longtime friend of Murphy, took over the head coaching role this season.

"I'm so stinking proud of them that they came back and have swam their senior year and just made the best of it," Kennedy said. They're pretty amazing."

Murphy Barry spent most of her life in the water. A Division I athlete turned Coach of the Year.

"She loved swimming and she loved competition," Kennedy explained. "She had a way to connect with the kids and knew how to bring out the best in them."

The seniors raved about the positive impact Murphy had on them.

"She had a magical way of inspiring each and every one of us to love swim the way she did," Newmeyer said. "Not only did she make us better athletes, but she worked really hard to make us better people."

"Murphy was definitely a role model," senior, Olivia Steele said. "She always had a really positive attitude and would never let you doubt yourself."

"She taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to," senior, Sydney Newburg said.

'We Before Me' is the motto Murphy preached.

"Murphy had a really strong 'no drama' policy," Newmeyer said. "And that's something that helped us really embody that 'we before me' philosophy"

Following Murphy's death, her family created the Murphy Barry Scholarship Fund so she could continue changing the lives of high school swimmers.

"She's an inborn coach and we need to carry that legacy on," Murphy's mother, Deb Barry said. "There are a lot of swimmers who really love her, and we want them to know she still loves them."

The swimming community and Doherty High School are better because of Murphy Barry. She leaves a beautiful legacy and many lessons behind.