Murray Turns Down RPI, Appert Accepts
CHN Staff Report
With former NHL coach Andy Murray turning down Rensselaer's offer to fill its head coaching vacancy, the Engineers have turned to Denver assistant Seth Appert, who accepted the job this evening, according to sources at USHR.com.
Murray, the coach of the NHL's Los Angeles Kings before he was fired during the middle of this season, was the first to be offered the job, CHN learned earlier today. The position was made vacant when Dan Fridgen was forced to resign last month. Coincidentally, Fridgen stepped down the same day Murray was fired.
According to sources, the other finalist for the job was Boston College assistant Mike Cavanaugh, 37. But the 31-year old Appert, a former goaltender at Ferris State and on the staff of two Denver national championship teams, will get the nod.
Speculation is that RPI athletic director Ken Ralph looked to the pro game for possible candidates. He consulted with Robbie Ftorek, head coach of the AHL's Albany River Rats, for three hours on April 3, going over pro candidates, according to a report in the Schenectady Gazette. Ralph also reached out to former Colgate coaches Don Vaughan and Stan Moore to gauge their interest.
Murray, who coached at the prestigious prep school Shattuck St. Mary's in Minnesota before going to Los Angeles, has no previous direct ties to college hockey. Raised in Canada, he played junior hockey, then later had stints as an assistant coach with three different NHL teams before going to Shattuck.
Appert, who played at Ferris State from 1992-96, played some minor-league hockey before becoming a volunteer assistant at Denver. After a brief stint at Mercyhurst, he came back to Denver as a full-time assistant, and was responsible for recruiting and developing Wade Dubielewicz, a Hobey finalist, and Adam Berkhoel, a national champ. Denver then won another national title with a new goaltending tandem of Glenn Fisher and Peter Mannino.
Murray took over the Kings in 1999-2000, making the playoffs the first three years, then missing it the next two. After the lockout season, he came back and had the team in seventh place in the Western Conference when he was fired last month. The Kings then stumbled out of a playoff spot, and general manager Dave Taylor and Director of Player Personnel Bill O'Flaherty, a Clarkson graduate and former coach, respectively, were fired today.
Murray's son, Brady, played at North Dakota for two seasons before leaving this year to play in Switzerland.
[Continue to check back for more details as they become available.]