KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics have announced the hiring of NHL coaching veteran Andy Murray as the new men's ice hockey head coach. Murray becomes the sixth head coach in the program's 38-year history, signing him to a five-year contract.
“We are extremely excited and have a great deal of Bronco pride in announcing Andy Murray as our head coach of our terrific Bronco hockey team,” said director of athletics Kathy Beauregard. “Coach Murray becomes a Bronco after assembling a very extensive and successful body of work as an NHL and International head coach. Consistent with our stated goals of competing at the highest levels of Division I Ice Hockey and of winning a hockey national championship this decade, Andy's hiring is another clear signal our University is seriously engaged in achieving this coveted pinnacle.”
Murray comes to WMU with an extensive resume earned at the highest level of professional hockey. He is one of only 39 coaches in NHL history to reach 300 wins with a career record of 333-278-58-71. Murray has 10 years of NHL head coaching experience, spending six seasons at the helm of the Los Angeles Kings and four with the St. Louis Blues. Murray is the Kings' All-Time franchise leader in wins with 215 and led Los Angeles to three 90-point seasons in his tenure. During the 2008-09 season with St. Louis he was a finalist for the Jack Adams Coach of the Year Award after guiding the Blues to a third place finish in the Central Division.
Murray has spent a total of 20 years as either a head or assistant coach in the NHL. He held assistant coaching positions with the Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota North Stars and Philadelphia Flyers. While he has not coached in college hockey in the United States he did coach at Brandon University, a Canadian college, for three seasons. In his short time he was able to turn Brandon into the top ranked program in all of Canadian college hockey.
“I've always had a high level of respect for coaches in the college game and what they do on a daily basis,” said Murray. “I look forward to the challenge of coaching some outstanding people. The college game is a great place to be and I have told coaches that for years. I don't know if it gets better at any level. I have had a lot of great opportunities in my coaching career and I am really excited for this one.”
To go with his extensive professional coaching background, Murray also brings international experience. He coached Team Canada to gold medals at the 2007, 2003 and 1997 World Hockey Championships. He is the only Canadian coach in history to win three World Championships and he also held the highest winning percentage as a coach (64-percent) in the history of the Canadian Men's National Team. He also holds six Spengler Cup Titles (an annual tournament in Switzerland) for Team Canada, a record for the country. Murray was also a head coach in Europe, coaching three Swiss professional teams (EV Zug, Zurcher Schlittschuh, and EHC Kloten) and a German team, EHC Berlin, in the early 80's and early 90's.
“ I think he is going to be a great fit,” said former Bronco great Jamal Mayers, who played for Murray during his time with the St. Louis Blues. “He is a player's coach who is going to be demanding and is very detail oriented. There won't be a single night the team won't be prepared. Coach Murray is going to give guys an opportunity to prove themselves and, as a player, you can't ask for anything more. I'm very excited for the program and I'm glad to see him take the job. I think it is a great day for Bronco hockey.“
Both assistant coaches Pat Ferschweiler and Rob Facca will be retained by coach Murray. A native of Souris, Manitoba, Murray and his wife have three children, all of which play professional hockey in Switzerland. His youngest son Jordy played for the University of Wisconsin and his oldest son Brady played for North Dakota. His daughter Sarah played Division I college hockey at Minnesota-Duluth, where she was a part of two National Championship teams.
As a part of celebrating the new hire, anyone who purchases season tickets in the next 60 hours will be invited to a “Welcome to Kalamazoo” reception for the new coach. (Details of the event will be announced at a later date.) Any fan who has renewed or who has purchased tickets for the 2011-12 season will also be invited to this event. This special 60 hour promotion will begin with the announcement of our new head hockey coach, at Noon on Tuesday, July 26th through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 28th. Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.wmubroncos.com, via phone at 1-888-4-WMU-TIX, or in person at the Bronco Ticket Office in Waldo Stadium. Season tickets are $160 for 18 home games including Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and defending national champions Minnesota-Duluth.
TRANSACTION: Western Michigan University hires Andy Murray to the position of head men's ice hockey coach.
The Murray File
• Head coach of the St. Louis Blues 2006-10
• Head coach of the Los Angeles Kings 1999-2006
• Associate coach of the Winnipeg Jets 1993-95
• Assistant coach of the Minnesota North Stars 1990-92
• Head coach EHC Berlin (Germany) 1993
• Head coach EV Zug (Swiss A Division) 1986-88
• Head coach Zurcher Schlittschuh (Swiss A Division) 1984-86
• Head coach EHC Kloten (Swiss A Division) 1981-84
• Over three decades of professional and international coaching experience.
• 10 seasons and 333 wins as a head coach in the NHL.
• One of 39 coaches in NHL history to reach 300 wins.
• 2009 NHL Coach of the Year Finalist.
• Los Angeles Kings All-Time franchise leader in career wins with 215.
• Only Canadian coach to ever win three IIHF World Championships with Team Canada (2007, 2003, 1997).
• Stanley Cup Finals appearance as an assistant coach with the Minnesota North Stars (1991).
• Coached Canadian school Brandon College to a No. 1 ranking in just three seasons at the helm.
• Won a record six Spengler Cups with Team Canada