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Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:38 pm
by Racer Insider Will
http://murraysports.net/0821172.htm

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:42 pm
by msuowns
Sure struggled in coaching. Always a very rude person.

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:17 am
by jhughes42071
I guess I've seen a different Mel than you. I played 6 summers in his camps and to this day when I see him out he's friendly and says hi. He is a great 1 on 1 coach and he worked well with kids. Maybe coaching a whole team wasn't his forte.

I'll never forget an exhibition match he played during camp one summer. There was a girl name Jackie Trail that was making nine kinds of waves in the Kentucky Tennis circles. By 12 she was ranked in the top 15 I think. She showed up to camp and Mel had us all get in the bleachers to watch. He asked us to split up and pick who we thought would win. A bulk of the camp thought Jackie would trounce him. I remember it being very lonely on our(Mel) side of the bleachers. I don't know if he was hamming it up or genuinely getting a feel for her play but he lost the first game or two. Then he put his foot on the gas and started work. Hitting shots between his legs, over his back and just putting shots past her like it was light work.

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:34 am
by msuowns
yes Jackie is from Paducah very familiar with her. Well hughes, I grew up with him, so? Really don't think u know that much. Benny was a gentleman.

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:38 am
by jhughes42071
guess so.

:salute:

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:51 am
by dropkick
I too have a very high opinion of Mel. I think some of the downturn in the success of the program can be attributed to the loss of the European recruiting pipeline Benny had during the 80's. He had one after the other for years. I remember him saying his current group would tell him who the next up and comers were from over there and they would do a lot of the promotion of our program to the overseas younger players. I'm not sure why that ended but a great deal of Bennies success was lead by overseas players that Mel didn't have as much success getting. Mel may not be quite the ambassador for MSU that Bennie was but there really has been no equal to that. Up until the program was abolished I think Mel was a very good ambassador for all things MSU. I would imagine there's some bitterness now but it doesn't show in my experiences with Mel. We all miss Bennie greatly and wish he were still around but he would heartbroken, and perhaps bitter as well. I dare say the program would still be around if he were alive. Bennie was very close with Mel, best friends really, and that loss must still hurt. My day was always better when I got to see Bennie and Mel's has some of that same affect for me personally. I enjoyed the article Will, thank you.

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:37 pm
by jhughes42071
dropkick wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:51 am
I too have a very high opinion of Mel.
My experience over 20+ years has been positive. Others may have not had that experience. The truth of whether or not a person is an a-hole is completely lost to opinion and perspective. I'm just glad i wasn't the only person he made a positive impression on. :P

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:22 pm
by msuowns
Ironic the two reasons the program was dropped. Money and ... .......

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:34 pm
by msuowns
How do you take over a powerhouse tennis program and have a tennis-celebrity name and not be able to recruit? The program went straight into the toilet and stayed there until the AD had enough.

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:25 am
by jhughes42071
I seem to remember dropping the men's program saved the university around $150,000. Maybe I'm wrong but if thats the whole of the budget for men's tennis it might have been more of a financial issue than one of a talent/recruiting issue. That doesn't seem like a whole lot for a program.

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:53 pm
by smidge34
jhughes42071 wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:25 am
I seem to remember dropping the men's program saved the university around $150,000. Maybe I'm wrong but if thats the whole of the budget for men's tennis it might have been more of a financial issue than one of a talent/recruiting issue. That doesn't seem like a whole lot for a program.
The entire football program is ran on like 5-6 times that figure for comparison.

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:36 pm
by jhughes42071
That seems like a small amount as well. Maybe there's a correlation?

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:15 pm
by RacerPop
Owns must know a different Mel than I do.Good guy,always has been.Maybe not cut out for coaching but was a hell of a player.Probably the best athelete to ever come out of this town.

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:49 am
by msuowns
RacerPop wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:15 pm
Owns must know a different Mel than I do.Good guy,always has been.Maybe not cut out for coaching but was a hell of a player.Probably the best athelete to ever come out of this town.
Racerpop, no one is disputing his great tennis career, it speaks for himself. You only know surface things.

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:02 pm
by RacerPop
I don't think you have any idea what I do or don't know.

Re: Looking Back: Mel Purcell

Posted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:07 pm
by JessieWilliams
I met him a few times and he was always friendly and glad I brought up old times.