Murray State College has a proud tradition and many great alumni who have become successful in a variety of fields, and also give back to their communities in many ways. We are starting this Alumni Spotlight as a way of highlighting those alumni who are doing great things throught the state, nation and internationally.
If you have suggestions for alumni to profile, please email email@example.com.
Alan Bruehl, Class of 1986
Current occupation: Robert Morris (Illinois) Director of Basketball Operations (Retired 2020), RMU Head Men's Basketball Coach (Retired, 2017)
“Murray State helped me go on to a Hall of Fame coaching career. FOREVER INDEBTED,” Alan Bruehl, 1986 MSC graduate
Robert Morris (Illinois) Head Men’s Basketball Coach Al Bruehl retired from collegiate coaching in the 2016-2017 season. After retiring from coaching, he served RMU Athletics as Director of Basketball Operations, overseeing both the RMU Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs, along with the downstate basketball teams until 2020.
Coach Bruehl, who served as the Eagles’ head coach for 20 seasons, was the eighth winningest active coach in NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball with an overall record of 591-199 in 25 seasons coached. He led his RMU teams to 13 NAIA National Tournaments, including six semifinal appearances and a national runner-up finish in 2002, along with 13 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) regular season championships and 11 CCAC Tournament titles.
“Many of us have never known anyone other than Al Bruehl at the helm of RMU Men’s Basketball, and he has certainly established a nationally recognized and respected program here at Robert Morris University,” said RMU Director of Athletics Megan Smith Eggert. “Through his dedication and passion for the game, Al has been able to field competitive and championship- level teams year in and year out. His success on the court also deemed him worthy of plenty coach of the year awards and hall of fame inductions, however, in the end, Al always had the experience and success of his student athletes at the forefront.” Individually, Coach Bruehl received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career. He was selected the NAIA National Coach of the Year twice and named the CCAC Conference Coach of the Year 11 times. In addition, the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association awarded him IBCA NAIA Coach of the Year honors 19 times. Coach Bruehl was also inducted into the CCAC Conference Hall of Fame in 2005 and the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
- 14 NAIA National Tournament appearances
- 1 NAIA National Tournament Runner-up
- 9 NAIA National Tournament "Final Four" appearances
- 11 NAIA National Tournament "Sweet Sixteen" appearances
- 14 CCAC Conference regular season championships
- 12 CCAC Conference Tournament championships
- 2 NAIA National Coach of the Year Awards
- 20 IBCA NAIA Coach of the Year Awards
- 12 CCAC Conference Coach of the Year Awards
- IBCA Hall of Fame
- CCAC Conference Hall of Fame
- RMU Athletic Hall of Fame
Al Fornaro, Class of 1987
"My hometown was Lynbrook, New York. My family moved from New York to Arizona and they have lived in Chandler, AZ for the past 20 years.
Why/how did you choose Murray State College?
I attended MSC due to the class size and the preceptorship program in Farm and Ranch Management as I had no real world experience coming from New York
When did you graduate from Murray? Did you transfer to a four-year program after graduation?
I graduated from MSC in 1987 with an AAS in Farm and Ranch Management. MSC led me to my BS Degree in Milling Science from Kansas State University (1989) and a 12-year employment with the Continental Grain Company.
A bit about your professional work experience:
When I worked for Continental Grain Company in the Wayne Feed Division I held various positions in multiple states. After Continental I went to work for the MAPEI corporation, an international company that manufactures construction adhesives . I have been with them for 19 years and am the head of industrial operations for the southwest United States.
What's a great memory you have of attending Murray State College?
I did not just make friends there, we were literally like a family, and I will never forget my MSC years. I have memories that will last my whole life.
Would you encourage students to attend Murray and why?
Yes....It seems a stretch but I would not be where I am without going to MSC.
Sheena Martin, Class of 2017
Current occupation: Meteorologist at KNOE 8 News, Monroe, La.
College activities: MSC President's Scholars Program and MSC Women's Soccer
Sheena Martin is a graduate of Murray State College and the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Growing up in Oklahoma, she quickly developed a passion for weather. During her time in Oklahoma, she experienced a wide variety of weather including tornadoes, hail storms, and ice storms. Each event fueled her curiosity in the field of weather.
Sheena enjoys the outdoors and loves fishing. Her other hobby is soccer, which she played throughout her college career
Colonel James L. Booker, Sr, Class of 1966
Current occupation: Executive pastor of the New Light Full Gospel Baptist Church
Col. James Booker, Sr., graduated from Oklahoma's Tishomingo High School, Murray State College, and East Central State University before joining the Marine Corps. During a military career of 30 years, he was awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the highest non-combat medal awarded, two Legions of Merit medals, a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two National Defense Service Medals, the Ancient Order of Saint Barbara, and many other ribbons and awardsfor outstanding service. He and his wife Kathy have been maried 52 years and reside in Virginia Beach, Va. where Booker now serves as Executive pastor of the New Light Full Gospel Baptist Church.
Peter Morrell, Class of 1988
Current occupation: Associate Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota
College activities: MSC President's Scholars Program -1986-1988
Peter L. Morrell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses primarily on genetic variation in plants. Three major areas of emphasis include the impact of domestication on patterns of polymorphism in domesticated species, the contribution of recombination to genetic variation and patterns of linkage disequilibrium, and the nature of adaptation to climatic variation. The research group makes extensive use of high performance computing and develops original programs for bioinformatics and data analysis. Morrell is the son of MSC retired professor, Rex Morrell, and brother of MSC's Vice President for Academic Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness, Becky Henthorn.