Andy Murray was tabbed to coach the Western Michigan Broncos earlier this week. Let’s talk about exactly who Murray is, and the known tie to the WCHA that he has.
He’s coached on five different teams, with three teams where he was an assistant and two that he was a head coach on. Can you name all five? He was the head boss in St. Louis from 2006-10, and in Los Angeles from 1999-2006. He was an assistant coach with the first incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets (1993-95), Minnesota North Stars (1990-92), but he was also an assistant with the Philadelphia Flyers in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
Andy’s son Jordy plays collegiate hockey for the WCHA’s University of Wisconsin Badgers, and he’s totaled sixty points in three years (38-22-60) for an average output of twenty points a year. Even middle school kids can do that math, folks. 2010-11 was Jordy’s best year goal-wise with eighteen goals contrasted by eight assists (18-8-26). Let’s get back to talking about Jordy’s dad.
Was Andy a good hire for Western Michigan? His 333-278-58 record as a head coach would say yes. He’s been to the playoffs four times (1999-00, 2000-01, 2001-02, and 2008-09). I should also report that he was previously fired from the Blues and Kings for having subpar division records in the Central and Pacific divisions. Ask yourself: Is that a direct reflection on the coach or is it the talent he has at his disposal?
“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,” Western Michigan athletic director Kathy Beauregard said in a statement.
Time will tell if Western Michigan made the right call, but early indications point to yes which is something that a lot of hockey fans around the country feel refreshed to hear. An NHL coach with a chance to re-establish his career in the college ranks?
What the Andy Murray hiring should tell you is that anything’s possible. Just ask Tom Anastos, who is a Michigan State alum hired back to coach the Spartans in 2011.
Geoff Discher is joltleft.com’s National College Hockey Examiner as well as the Minnesota Golden Gophers Hockey Examiner. Leave a comment below, or feel free to reach him at [email protected]with comments, story ideas, or any general talk surrounding college hockey. You can find him on Facebook as well by searching “National College Hockey Examiner” or “Minnesota Golden Gophers Hockey Examiner” and joining the conversation from the social media side as well. He’s always chock full of fact and opinion.
Until next time, I’ll see you at the rink!