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Minotauros announce coaching change

April 28, 2020

Marty Murray (right) listens to assistant coach Shane Wagner (left) at the 2018 NAHL Robertson Cup Championship.

The Minot Minotauros of the North American Hockey League have announced that longtime Head Coach and General Manager Marty Murray has accepted the same role with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League (USHL). 

Murray moves on from the Tauros after eight and a half seasons as the team’s Head Coach and General Manager after being promoted from the role of Assistant Coach during the team’s inaugural season.

Current assistant coach Shane Wagner will become the team’s third Head Coach in team history.

“This announcement is bittersweet, but I knew this day would eventually come. Today we see a friend and co-founder of the Tauros moving onto new opportunities and future successes. Marty and his family have been an integral part of every aspect of the Tauros design and we wish them all the best in their new adventures As is the case for all Tauros alumni, I wish the best for our best and we shall charge ahead,” said Minotauros Owner and Governor Brad Porter. “I take solace in the fact that Marty has surrounded himself with the same quality people in our organization. With that in mind we will be elevating from within with Shane Wagner and will continue to uphold the values that the Tauros were built upon.”

“When I took the job in Minot, I took it because of Marty.  Over the last three years, I have learned a lot.  From what it takes behind the scenes to make a successful program to managing teams not only during the game but from week to week.  One thing I have always been impressed with is how he was able to get the most out of his players,” said Wagner.

During his time as Head Coach in Minot the Tauros won 254 regular season games, qualified for the playoffs in each of his full seasons behind the bench, including a run to the 2018 Robertson Cup Championship Game, and moved 101 players on to the NCAA DI and DIII levels of play.  

Murray’s excellence was often recognized by his peers; he was voted the NAHL Central Division Coach of the Year for the 2014-15 season, Central Division General Manager of the Year for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, and in 2018-19 he was voted the NAHL General Manager of the Year.  Murray’s leadership also built a culture that led to the Tauros being voted the Central Division’s Organization of the Year for the 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons.

“The last couple of weeks resulted in the biggest decision we have ever made as a family. I have decided to accept a job offer as the Head Coach/GM of the Sioux Falls Stampede in the USHL. It is very exciting to be moving up the ladder, but at the same time very difficult to be moving on from the Tauros. I have been here since the first year of operation and have seen my share of ups and downs. Fortunately, there have been many more ups than downs,” said Murray. “I’m extremely proud of what this organization has accomplished both on the ice and in the community. It’s impossible to have any success without being surrounded by passionate people. For me, that passion starts with Brad Porter. I’m incredibly grateful that he brought the Tauros to Minot and gave me the opportunity to coach this amazing franchise. Brad’s unmatched work ethic and dedication is the identity of our hockey club.”

Murray continued, “To have success on the ice, you need to surround yourself with the best people possible. I can’t thank my coaching staff enough in Shane Wagner and Wyatt Waselenchuk. Their incredible passion and knowledge of the game made it enjoyable to come to the rink every day. I’d also like to give a huge thank you to Assistant GM Chris Lonke for his commitment to the organization by working extremely hard to recruit not only the best players, but also the best kids. The same can be said for our scouting staff in Brad Clayton, Terry Dunbar, Mike Perkins, and Todd Collins. I’d also like to recognize Dr. Mattern and Kevin Melby for keeping our players healthy and providing great care when they needed it. They are true professionals at their craft.”

“I want to thank all the players that have gone through the Tauros program. My hopes are that they grew both on and off the ice. It’s not considered a job if you love what you do and working with the players everyday made me realize how lucky I am to have held this position. I also can’t thank our front office staff enough with the hard work they put in to make our “show” the best in the NAHL. Ken Oda, Rob Siemens, and Peter Theodos do an amazing job and put in a lot of hard work to make this happen.

“Thank you to the best fans in the NAHL! There is nothing better than when the Pepsi gets rocking! As well, junior hockey doesn’t exist without the support we get from our amazing corporate partners, billets, and volunteers. I would also like to thank Bob Gillen and his staff at the Maysa for their professionalism and being easy to work with. My family will miss Minot and the Tauros terribly, but we are excited for what is to come. The city should be very excited about the team this upcoming season. There will be many players returning as well as a strong recruiting class. I know I will be cheering from afar. The Tauros will always hold a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to see a Robertson Cup make its way into the Magic City,” concluded Murray.

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