CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. – An unfortunate turn in the past for North Iowa Bulls alumnus Logan Murphy is paying dividends in the present day in his hometown in Wisconsin. The third-year North Iowa forward and captain of the 2014-15 squad saw his playing career come to an end with a mid-season shoulder injury, allowing the Chippewa Falls native to become a de facto assistant coach for the remainder of his final season of junior hockey.
Partially thanks to his leadership, the Bulls capped the season with their second national championship in three years, and Murphy went on to coach high school teams at Chippewa Falls High School and Eau Claire North High School while earning a business management degree at nearby Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
He’ll remain in the area this season, landing an assistant coaching position with the North American Hockey League’s Chippewa Steel. It’s the second year in a row that the Bulls have sent an alumnus behind the bench with an NAHL team, after associate head coach Kevin Murdock landed the Kenai River Brown Bears’ head coaching job last April.
“His experience as a player and his championship experience are going to give him a perspective that other coaches don’t have,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden. “To break in as an assistant in the NAHL is a legitimate opportunity, and we know he’ll do great with it.”
Murphy was on the ice for the Bulls during the beginning of their rise to prominence, playing in 13 games for North Iowa in their 2012-13 season. He scored eight points on the way to the team’s first national title. The following year, he appeared in 38 games and racked up 42 points, helping to push the Bulls back to the USA Hockey national championship game. The winners that year, the Boston Junior Bruins, eventually sent 16 players to NCAA Division I programs.
“Logan has experience coaching and playing at several levels of hockey that I feel will allow him to influence our players in a positive way,” said Chippewa head coach Carter Foguth. “His work ethic and determination will make him a good coach and useful resource on our staff.”
Murphy was a four-year varsity player for Chippewa Falls High School prior to joining the Bulls roster, earning all-state honors during a decorated prep career.
“I’m excited to take the next step in my coaching career with the Chippewa Steel,” said Murphy. “I would like to thank the Black Family and Head Coach Carter Foguth for this opportunity to be a part of the Chippewa Steel organization right here in my hometown where I grew up playing. With my experience as a junior hockey player and a high school coach I look forward to helping the players take the next step in their hockey careers.”
After a rocky first season in 2018-19, the Steel soared to a second-place finish in the NAHL’s Midwest Division during the shortened 2019-20 season. Chippewa was in a battle with Murdock’s Brown Bears for home-ice advantage in the first round of the Robertson Cup playoffs when the COVID-19 “Coronavirus” outbreak abruptly halted the season in mid-March.
The North Iowa Bulls congratulate Logan Murphy on earning a coaching position in the North American Hockey League, and wish him the best as he embarks on this new chapter with the Chippewa Steel.