Thunder assistant coach resigns

Published 8:43 am Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another coach has resigned from the Albert Lea Thunder.

Assistant coach Brian Murphy resigned from his position Friday.

Murphy, 26, had been with the team from the beginning but decided that it was no longer the right fit.

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“I thought it was in the best interest of myself,” Murphy said. “There are a lot of different philosophies that the ownership group and I had disagreements with and I wish them the best of luck.”

Murphy said that some of the disagreements had to do with the job responsibilities.

“The biggest thing was I came down here to coach and I was doing a little more selling than anything,” Murphy said.

Team owner Barry Soskin declined comment for this story.

Murphy also said that as a young coach he needed to learn the business side of operations.

“Jim (Perkins, director of hockey operations) and Barry are great people and me being such a young coach I need to learn a little bit more about the business side and how business is done in sports like this,” Murphy said.

Prior to joining the Thunder Murphy had worked as a scout for the Washington Capitals of the NHL and also coached the Wisconsin Fire. Murphy played junior hockey in the NAHL with the Danville Wings and college hockey at St. Mary’s in Winona. Murphy plans to stay involved in coaching, but in the metro area.

Murphy was introduced as assistant coach at May 14 press conference at the City Arena, along with former head coach Paul Willett. Willett resigned July 11 and said there were philosophical differences between he and the management.

A day after Murphy resigned, starting goalie Brady Sand asked the team for his release. The team has granted Sand permission to speak with other teams.

“Basically it was a frustrating environment from the start,” Sand said. “I was frustrated with how things were going winning and losing.”

Sand had a record of 0-5-1, with a 4.13 goals against average in six games.

Sand is the third player to leave the team after defenseman Adam Royce left after the first practice Aug. 25 and Tyler Nelson left Oct. 6.

“It was one of those things where the frustration builds up with every loss,” Sand said.

Sand considered his decision a week prior and said the team wasn’t competing on a consistent basis.

“North Iowa was a solid game, but other nights we were overmatched,” he said.

Sand did say that Murphy’s departure was a shock to many players on the team.

The Thunder did have a goalie try out at practice Monday and plan to move forward to replace players that have left the team.