Murray was born in 1962 in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of Darcelious and Louvelle Murray. She began participating in organized sports at the age of 15. At Henry Ford High School, Murray was both a record-holding sprinter and varsity cheerleader. She went on to attend Western Michigan University, earning a degree in political science and intended to become a lawyer. While at Western Michigan, she continued to cheerlead, and became the second African American to be chosen as the university’s homecoming queen in 1982.