BRANDON, Man. – One of Canada’s most accomplished hockey coaches will receive an honorary degree from Brandon University (BU) this month.
Andy Murray will be conferred with an honorary Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) at Brandon University’s Spring Convocation on Friday, May 26 at the BU Healthy Living Centre.
Currently the coach of the Western Michigan University (WMU) Broncos men’s hockey team, Murray previously coached in the National Hockey League (NHL. He was inducted into to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.
Also a member of the Brandon University Dick and Verda McDonald Sports Wall of Fame, Murray played for the BU hockey and football teams and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1972. He later coached the Bobcats hockey team for three years. Born in Gladstone and raised in Souris, Murray continues to return to his home province to share his experience and expertise with amateur coaches as Hockey Manitoba’s Honorary Mentor Coach.
“Mr. Murray’s success throughout his impressive career reflects his ability to foster effective teamwork, a lesson that is applicable to us all whether in athletics, academics or in the community,” said Dr. Gervan Fearon, President and Vice-Chancellor of BU.
“His influence extends beyond his on-ice triumphs with his willingness to offer guidance and inspiration to others helping to instill leadership, collaboration and other important skills in new generations. These are values Brandon University stands for as well.”
Murray began coaching at age 25 with the Brandon Travelers senior hockey team before assuming the role of Bobcats head coach in 1978. He led the team to two league championships, including the 1980-81 season when the Bobcats were ranked No. 1 in Canada, before leaving for Europe to begin his professional coaching career.
Murray earned his first NHL head coaching job with the Los Angeles Kings in 1999, setting a new franchise record with 215 victories over six seasons before joining the St. Louis Blues for four more years. Murray is the only head coach to guide Canada’s national men’s team to gold medals in three IIHF World Championships, and has won a record six titles in the Spengler Cup tournament in Switzerland. He was an associate coach for Canada’s 1998 Olympic hockey team.
Murray joined WMU in 2011, leading the Broncos to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s conference championship in 2012. He won this season’s Herb Brooks Award as the Coach of the Year in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
Brandon University bestows individuals with an honorary degree based on significant service to the university community or society; excellence in professional life or public service; or advancement of knowledge through research or teaching. Nominations from Brandon University and the Westman area are considered.