Western Michigan University hockey coach announces resignation

Posted at 3:57 PM, Aug 03, 2021

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — After a decade leading the Western Michigan University hockey program, Andy Murray has announced his resignation as head coach.

Director of Athletics Kathy Beauregard has promoted Bronco hockey alum Pat Perschweiler as the new head hockey coach, according to a news release Tuesday.

“I want to thank Coach Murray for his tremendous leadership of our hockey program during his time as head coach,” Beauregard said. “He has been a valuable member of our coaching staff, as well as a major asset to Western Michigan University and the entire Kalamazoo community. Coach Murray has laid a foundation for our hockey program to regularly compete for NCHC championships and NCAA Tournament opportunities. Our hockey student-athletes have also excelled in the classroom during Coach Murray’s tenure.”

Murray says he’s excited about the direction of the program.

“The announcement that I am resigning and Pat Ferschweiler is moving into the role as head coach is one that I felt was necessary,” Murray said. “The last 10 years at WMU have been as rewarding as anything I have done in my life. I am in great health and full of energy, so this is not a retirement. I still have a number of things on my bucket list and now is the time to pursue those.

“My goal has always been to have our program in great shape when I did decide to move on. We are in that position right now and the transition to Pat will be smooth and well-received by our present players and alumni. He is a Bronco and is well prepared.”

Murray’s time leading the Broncos included three seasons of 20-plus wins, two NCAA tournament bids and the 2012 Central Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament Championship.

WMU has produced nine National Hockey League players and four All-Americans during his tenure.

He leaves with 167 career wins at the helm, which is the second-most in the program’s history.

Ferschweiler, WMU’s associate head coach since 2019, has been a member of the hockey staff at his alma mater since 2010.

After creating the Russell Stover Youth hockey program in Kansas City, he came back to Kalamazoo to join Jeff Blashill’s staff in 2010.

Ferschweiler stayed on when Murray took over and worked as an assistant and associate head coach before rejoining Blashill with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL and then as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings. He once again returned to the Broncos as an associate head coach in 2019.

“I’m excited to be able to hand the reins of our Bronco hockey team over to one of our own, Pat Ferschweiler,” Beauregard said. “Pat showed his leadership qualities as a player for the Broncos, as an assistant coach and as our associate head coach. He is a great teacher of the game and has coached at all levels under some outstanding mentors, including Andy Murray and Jeff Blashill. As a recruiter, Coach Ferschweiler has attracted some of the best talent ever to play at Western Michigan.”

The Broncos open the 2021-22 campaign with the annual Brown & Gold Game at Lawson Arena on Saturday, Oct. 2

The regular season opens Friday, Oct. 8, when Ferris State visits Lawson for the first of a home-and-home series.