Legendary Coach Leaves
More Than a Winning Legacy
“Team sports are much more than just games. It is a time in a young person’s life when they develop the character of the person they will become.”
– Peter J. Mulry
Such are the words of a legendary Coach, the winningest coach in the history of Tampa Catholic High School. Pete Mulry’s championship legacy at Tampa Catholic spans three decades and countless memories. His coaching left an indelible mark on the lives of his players, and now through a special planned gift from his estate designated to Tampa Catholic, Coach Mulry’s legacy will transcend the records he holds, the sport he loves, and the school where it all began.
Pete was born in Jersey City, NJ. He was hired right out of college to coach baseball by Tampa Catholic Athletic Director, Tom Murray. Tampa Catholic’s rise to national acclaim began with Coach Mulry and his 1968 team. Together they excited a school and enlivened a town – first with thrilling rivalry games – and then with a run to the state championship.
During his tenure, he took his teams to 6 final four tournaments, won a National Championship, and 4 State Championships. He accumulated a high school record of 329-39 - a nationally renowned .894 winning percentage that stands as the very best in school history and among the very best in the country. Coach Mulry was named Coach of the Year in 1968, 1971, 1973, 1976 and nominated to be National Coach of the Year in 1976. He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame at St. Mary’s High School, St. Leo University, Tampa Catholic High School, and the Tampa Bay Sports Club.
Tampa Catholic is extremely grateful for the life, legacy, and generosity of Coach Pete Mulry. Through this designated estate gift, Pete joins the school’s prestigious "1962 Legacy Society", honoring Tampa Catholic’s founding and memorializing those who have left Tampa Catholic High School in their estate plans. I invite all to emulate Coach Pete Mulry's selfless example of giving back by placing Tampa Catholic in your estate plans.
To Pete, there is no greater honor than to be called “Coach” for it represents a life dedicated in service and wisdom to guiding, molding, and launching the inner greatness in every person, player, or team.
In 2011, Mulry authored a book, “Conversations in the Seventh Inning of My Life,” in which he interviewed 30 of his former players about the life skills they learned while competing for the iconic high-school baseball program. These interviews offered insight into how all these people achieved so much success, both in high school and in life.
Harry Smith Leaves a
Legacy of Fitness to
Generations of Tampa Athletes
Harry Smith was well known to generations of high school, college and adult athletes in Tampa. If you were lucky enough to be coached by Harry or to train at the no-nonsense facilities at the Smith Health Club in Tampa, you gained the wisdom and inspiration of a man who saw success as a professional wrestler and body builder.
Born in Georgia in 1925, Smith entered the service and saw action in World War II. His connection to Tampa was through his career as a professional wrestler. He settled in Tampa and opened his first gym in 1956, expanding to his location in South Tampa in 1964 until closing for good after he suffered a stroke in 2013.
In addition to his professional wrestling prowess, he held 32 weightlifting and bodybuilding titles. At age 40 he won the Mr. Florida bodybuilding title - the oldest ever to hold the title.
In 1976, when the Tampa Bay Bucs entered the NFL, one of their first hires was Harry Smith as strength and conditioning coach.
It could be said that Harry Smith held high regard the importance of the balance between athletics and academics. In addition to professional successes he earned degrees in English, psychology and physical education. As a six sport letterman in high school, his love of high school athletics was so strong that he once commented in an interview that ... “If I had my life to live over again, I would spend all of it at Tech High”.
That love carried over into a legacy gift to Tampa Catholic. When Smith passed away in the summer of 2020 at the age of 95, at his bequest, proceeds of his estate were distributed to several high schools in Tampa, including TC. Upon learning of Mr. Smith’s legacy gift, Tampa Catholic principal Robert Lees said, “We are so thankful of Harry Smith’s thoughtful gift to TC. His legacy lives on in the many people that he influenced in his life and he will forever have a place in the hearts of Tampa Catholic as a charter member of our 1962 Legacy Society.”