Who made Terry Murray the coach that he is today? In this part of the interview, Murray talks about his coaching mentors, the men who helped shape him and influence his coaching philosophies today. The list includes a former NHL head coach, a former NHL assistant coach and a family member…
Question: Who have been some of your coaching mentors, people who have helped or influenced you most?
MURRAY: I was very impressed, when I went from the Oakland Seals, as a player, to the Philadelphia Flyers, as a player. My first training camp, the Flyers had won two Stanley Cups. This was their chance to go for a third in a row. Barry Ashby was the assistant coach. Freddy Shero was the head coach but Barry was the assistant and he was primarily working with the defensemen. As the numbers got down in the latter part of training camp, he came to me and said, `You know, there’s a lot of good things here. What was the system, what was the style of play that you played in Oakland?’ And I couldn’t answer him. He said, `Well, here’s how we play.’ He took me aside at the end of the practice and talked about it and diagrammed a lot of stuff on the board at the end of the ice. The game became so much easier the next day. Then as we got into the exhibition games, I was upset that it had taken so long for that information to come out. (laughs) So he was huge.
Pat Quinn was a real good coach for me. He was a teacher and he gave you, as a player, all the information that you needed. He was very consistent with it and his feedback was always the right stuff. He just handled people the right way. You were a person. You weren’t just a hockey player, and he dealt with everybody the right way. So that trust that I was talking about, and the respect, that was very high because of how he dealt with us in those days. I had him in the minors, I had him in the American league and in the NHL, and he was very steady with who he was and how he dealt with it.
You know, I played for my brother (Bryan), the last year that I played in Washington. The last year that I played hockey, Bryan was the coach. He was a schoolteacher coming out. He was my high school teacher, in fact, during my junior and senior year. Then I left, I got drafted and I went on to play hockey and he stayed in the teaching side of it, and then got into hockey at the junior level. A few years later, there he is coaching the Washington Capitals. So that was a turning year, because he came in at a difficult time and got us going in the right direction. We didn’t make the playoffs, but then the next year we ended up getting into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. We took a huge step and had great success with that team for a lot of years. So those are three names. Certainly I could mention Freddy Shero. He was a head coach and he was great to play for, a very successful coach.