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Western Michigan hockey officially names Barr assistant coach

By Ken Schott
Thursday, July 10, 2014

What was recently reported became official Thursday when Western Michigan announced that former RPI hockey player and Union assistant coach Ben Barr was hired as an assistant coach for the Broncos.

Barr is reunited with Western Michigan head coach Andy Murray, who was Barr's coach at Shattuck St. Mary's in Minnesota during the 1998-99 season.

Barr, 33, played at RPI from 2000-04. He was an assistant coach under Nate Leaman, first at Union from 2008-11, and then at Providence when Leaman took over as head coach in 2011.

Barr replaces Rob Facca, who was hired by the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks to a scouting position on June 18.

“I couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to work at Western Michigan University,” Barr said in a statement. “I have the utmost respect for the program Andy, [assistant coach] Pat [Ferschwiler] and Rob have built, and I’m humbled to have the opportunity to be part of the Bronco hockey program. Coach Murray had a huge impact on myself and all my teammates in one year at Shattuck St. Mary’s, so the opportunity to work with him again is really special.”

“The past three years at Providence College have been the best three years anyone could ask for. Nate is a tremendous mentor and friend. I can’t thank him, Providence, and the team enough for allowing me to be a part of the Friars.”

Murray said: “Rob Facca did a tremendous job in helping rebuild this program. We needed a top person to come in and replace him, and we got that in Ben. When looking for a replacement, I wanted to focus on someone with a good character profile, competence and a WMU connection. Ben has worked for, played for and learned from some excellent coaches throughout his career. We had a lot of very qualified coaches interested in the positions, including Western Michigan alums, but we felt Ben’s experience with winning programs like Providence and Union really set him apart."

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