Longtime athletics staff member and Murray State hall of famer Saundra Edwards died Thursday at the Anna Mae Owen Residential House in Murray.
Edwards, a staff member from 1974-2001, was 82 years old.
After being s student secretary to men’s basketball coach Cal Luther, Edwards began her Murray State professional career in the career services department from 1974 to 1986. She joined the effort in MSU Athletics in 1987 until her retirement in 2001.
Edwards did it all in the athletics department and was well known as a team player and someone who loved working in athletics. She was administrative assistant to five different MSU athletics directors: Coach Johnny Reagan, Mike Dill, Mike Strickland, Jim Frank and E.W. Dennison.
She was multi-talented and had a part in concessions operations, marketing and promotions, ticket operations, MSU Hall of Fame, game day operations and all associated athletics events.
A Paducah native, Edwards graduated from Heath High School in 1957. She grew up around the game of golf, as her father Louis Slusmeyer was grounds superintendent at the old Paducah Country Club when she was born in 1939.
She often went to the course with him, including his time working at Paxton Park. Louis gave Saundra three clubs when she was young, and that began her love of the game.
Saundra’s mother, Elizabeth, also played golf. Saundra’s grandchildren, Summer Simmons and Brock Simmons, each played golf for the Racers.
Edwards arrived at Murray State as a freshman in the fall of 1957. The entire Slusmeyer family moved to Murray when her father was commissioned to build what was then the nine-hole Murray Country Club course.
She would’ve played collegiately at MSU, but at the time, there wasn’t a women’s golf program. MSU basketball coach Rex Alexander taught a golf class at Murray State and encouraged Edwards to continue to play. She met coach Buddy Hewitt, who started the MSU men’s golf program, and ended up trying out and earned a spot on the men’s team but decided to not play.
Edwards was inducted into the Murray State Hall of Fame in 2018 in the Hall of Distinction area for her career contributions to MSU Athletics, with MSU radio voice Neal Bradley and longtime supporters Jan and Dick Weaver.
Other members of the 2018 class included Frank Allen and Isaiah Canaan (men’s basketball), Rebekah Clay (soccer), Sarah Dearworth (volleyball), Amber Guffey (women’s basketball), coach Houston Nutt and Danny Lee Stout-Johnson (football).