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Former Kenai River coach Kevin Murdock joins UAA hockey’s staff in Shasby’s first hire

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 9:16 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Newly-named head coach of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Division I hockey program Matt Shasby had a long to-do list when he was hired in October, which included bolstering a roster of 25 new players, determining an independent schedule and putting together a coaching staff.

While recruiting and scheduling is in the works, Shasby made his first hire on the bench Wednesday, naming Kevin Murdock as the assistant coach of Seawolf hockey.

“I would like to thank Matt Shasby and the UAA athletic staff for giving me this opportunity to become part of the university,” said Murdock, 31, in a university press release. “I am eager to get to work helping to rebuild the UAA men’s hockey program. I’m looking forward to seeing the program continue to move in the right direction.”

Most recently known as the associate head coach and general manager of the highly-successful North American Hockey League’s North Iowa Bulls, the Alaskan hockey community is familiar with Murdock as the head coach of the Kenai River Brown Bears for two seasons. During the 2019-20 campaign, Murdock led the Brown Bears to a 27-19-3-3 record (.577), the highest winning percentage in the organization’s 15-year history, which ended a five-year NAHL playoff drought for the program.

“Kevin is one of the brightest young minds in hockey who has a reputation of being a player’s coach who gets the most out of his teams,” said Shasby in the release. “His knowledge of the current player pool, ability to recruit, and his network is going to help establish the Seawolves very quickly on the recruiting circuit. He spent two years as head coach rebuilding the Kenai River Brown Bears NAHL team into a playoff contender and then moved on to the staff at North Iowa, where he had them in first place this year. On top of that he is a former goalie who has an exceptional eye for finding and developing goaltenders at an elite level. We couldn’t be more excited about what Kevin brings to our staff.”

Murdock, a Bradenton, Florida native, played goalie for Minnesota State at Mankato for a season before finishing his collegiate career with Lake Superior State in Michigan. He also played professionally in the ECHL and the Southern Professional Hockey League and has a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation from Lake Superior State.

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