Legendary presence: Legacy of Eimers, Murr extends beyond Dike's gym

Jerry Eimers (left) and Tom Murr were the two head coaches responsible for the only state basketball titles in Dike High School history. Both passed away in 2018. (Contributed photos)

The only two basketball titles in the history of Dike High School came during a boom period for athletics at the school in the 1980s.


The wealth of all-around talent for the Bobcats created a perfect combination with two exceptional coaches in Jerry Eimers and Tom Murr.


Hall of Fame coaches in their respective sports of boys and girls basketball, Eimers and Murr passed away within a month of each other in the late summer of 2018. They leave behind a reputation of passion for the game while staying in touch with the young men and women they influenced along the way.


"They both brought a lot of pride to the school," said former Dike athletic director Hubert Kopriva.


Bruce Dall was the co-captain and point guard for Eimers' final season as a coach in 1988 and watched Murr coach the Dike girls to the Bobcats' only girls basketball title in March of that year.


"Jerry Eimers had a big thing to do with teaching me the way the game is played," Dall added. "And Tom Murr is the one that shows you how special girls basketball is. … They really make you aspire to all that kind of path."


To that end, Dall has dedicated this season in the memory of Eimers and Murr, as the Dike-New Hartford girls look to return to the state tournament.


When the D-NH girls qualified for the state tournament in the 2017-18 season, the first state berth for the girls in the consolidated school district's history, Dall received notes of encouragement from both coaches before the Wolverines' state quarterfinal game.


"I'm always sentimental, but the passing of those two, it really hits you," Dall said. "I had just talked to [Murr] a month before and Coach Eimers was always around town. They're two huge influences in my life. They're two huge influences on so many people's lives."


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