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Digit Murphy named head coach of Toronto Six

The two-time Clarkson Cup champion coach will be splitting her time as team president and head coach of the NWHL’s newest franchise

Alyssa Turner/NWHL

The Toronto Six announced Tuesday morning that Digit Murphy, the team’s president, will be stepping back behind the bench this season as the franchise’s first head coach.

Murphy, who spent four years as a forward for the Cornell Big Red back in the 1980s, is no stranger to coaching. She spent nearly 20 years as head coach of Brown University’s women’s hockey program, leading the Bears to a winning record in fourteen of her eighteen seasons and winning the ECAC four times.

She’s no stranger to coaching in the big leagues either. As the head coach and general manager of the CWHL’s Boston Blades, Murphy led the team to two Clarkson Cups and was awarded the honor of Coach of the Year in 2013. She has experience coaching the best of the best, having led players like Team USA greats Hilary Knight, Kacey Bellamy, and Meghan Duggan, alongside her new competitors in the NWHL, like Corinne Buie, Jillian Dempsey, and Janine Weber.

Al Saniuk

Murphy also spent a season in China, coaching the CWHL’s Kunlun Red Star to a Clarkson Cup Final — which the team ultimately lost to the Markham Thunder — as well as China’s U18 and senior national teams, who finished fourth and fifth in their respective tournaments (both competed at the Division I Group B level).

In April, Murphy was named to the inaugural executive team of the NWHL’s first Canadian franchise in the Toronto Six. She will remain in this role while behind the bench of the Six, and is reportedly very excited to return to her roots behind the bench.

She will be one of two female head coaches in the league. Ronda Curtin Engelhardt is the other as the co-head coach in Minnesota.

“I had a hand in selecting each of the women who make up this inaugural Six team, and I believe in this group,” Murphy said in the Six’s press release. “I look forward to leading them on the ice in our quest for an Isobel Cup, and in the community as we foster inclusion and sustainability in women’s professional hockey.”