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by Ken Schott

Parting Schotts

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Former RPI player, Union assistant coach Barr joins Western Michigan staff

Former RPI hockey standout and Union assistant coach Ben Barr has accepted the job of associate head coach at Western Michigan.

The news was reported by the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette and the Providence Journal.

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.

It will be a reunion for Barr and Broncos coach Andy Murray. Murray was Barr's coach at Shattuck St. Mary's in Minnesota during the 1998-99 season.

In an interview with the Providence Journal, Barr said, "It the toughest decision I've ever had to make, but for my development it's something I have to do. It will be a great thing for me.

"There's probably one guy in college hockey that I would go [and work] for outside of Nate. And it was Andy. ... Nate's been the best friend to me."

Murray declined to comment until the hiring becomes official when paperwork is completed. But Barr's biography has been removed form the Providence hockey website.

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