Rob Murray, 44, was named as the new Head Coach of the 2011 Kelly Cup Champion Alaska Aces on July 13, 2011. Murray previously spent the previous eight seasons as a member of the American Hockey League’s Providence Bruins Coaching Staff – the final three seasons as the club’s Head Coach.
Murray was a third round draft pick of the Washington Capitals in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, playing 107 combined games in the NHL with the Capitals, Winnipeg Jets, and Phoenix Coyotes, during a 16-season playing career. After retiring following the 2002-2003 season, Murray immediately moved into coaching, becoming Providence’s Assistant Coach. He remained there for five seasons working alongside Head Coach, Scott Gordon. When Gordon became the New York Islanders Head Coach in 2008, Murray assumed control of the Bruins. In his first season as a Head Coach, Murray engineered his team to a 43-29-8 record and the AHL’s Conference Finals. He finished his three-year Head Coaching tenure in Providence with a 117-103-20 regular season record, and a 9-7 playoff mark. Murray played an instrumental role in the growth of the Boston Bruins organization, as part of their minor-league system. While in Providence, he coached seven different players who played for Boston during their 2011 Stanley Cup Championship run.
Before entering into coaching, Murray had an illustrious playing career. The Toronto, Ontario native played in 1,205 regular season games garnering 525 points (177g, 348a) and 3,190 PIM. Those totals include 19 points (4g, 15a) and 111 penalty minutes in the NHL for the physical forward. Standing 6’1” and weighing 180 lbs. Murray evolved into one of the most physical players in professional hockey at any level. After beginning his career with one year in the IHL, Murray spent at least part of every subsequent season in the AHL. At the end of his career, Murray closed with a record-breaking AHL resume. Murray currently ranks seventh all-time with 1018 AHL games played, and second all-time with 2,940 penalty minutes. He spent over 500 games with the Springfield Falcons, and still holds team records for the most games played, assists, career PIM, and PIM in a single season. Murray’s #23 was retired by the Falcons, making him one of only two players in Falcons history to have his jersey retired – the other being Hall-of-Famer, Eddie Shore.
Although the 2011-2012 season will be Murray’s first in Alaska, his ties to the Aces organization and personnel run deep from throughout his career. Murray was a former teammate of current Aces veteran Brian Swanson, as well as a former teammate and assistant coach of former Aces Head Coach Brent Thompson, whom he is replacing. Murray also has coached several current and former Aces players including Bryan Miller, Adam Courchaine, John Lammers, Alexandre Imbeault, Derick Martin, Colin Hemingway, and Matt Underhill.
Murray becomes the fifth Aces Head Coach since the current Aces ownership group took control of the team in 2002, and the fourth in the ECHL era. Dating back to the franchise’s professional days in the WCHL, Murray is now the 13th all-time Head Coach in Aces history. Murray and his wife Carolyn have fiive children – Taylor, Zack, Quinn, Brendan, and MacKenzie.