Monday, June 30, 2014

Ex-assistant Barr heads for Western Michigan

by Ryan Fay

Former RPI star and Union assistant coach Ben Barr has been hired as associate head coach at Western Michigan, the Providence Journal reported Sunday.

Barr played for RPI from 2000-2004 and later served an assistant to Nate Leaman at Union from 2008-2011. The 33-year-old left for Providence shortly after Leaman was hired there in 2011.

Barr's latest move reunites him with Western Michigan head coach Andy Murray, who was his coach at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Minnesota during the 1998-99 season.

“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,’’ Barr told the Providence Journal.

“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.’’

Barr, who is widely seen as one of the top young coaches in college hockey, replaces Rob Facca on Western Michigan's staff. Facca took a scouting position with the Chicago Blackhawks on June 18.

There's a chance Union could play Western Michigan on Nov. 29 at Notre Dame's Shillelagh Tournament.

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