Western Michigan Hockey heading into 2021-22 with a new bench boss

(Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images) /

Western Michigan Hockey certainly did not have the 2020-21 season that they had hoped. With a detrimental injury to goalie Brandon Bussi, things got interesting. In the second half, they were able to bring in a new goalie and iron some things out.

The Western Michigan Broncos certainly did not have the season they wanted, and as the 2021-22 season inches closer, things are changing. It was announced that head coach Andy Murray would not be behind the bench this upcoming season.

Instead, it will be Pat Ferschweiler, an assistant coach who was promoted to the head coach position. He’ll be taking over for Murray, who had spent the last ten seasons in Kalamazoo with the Broncos.

With two seasons under Ferschweiler’s watch as an assistant coach, he knows the group of guys, and there may not be as much team cohesion needed with a new coach coming into the program. Not to mention, Ferschweiler’s experience with NHL/AHL affiliates helps him.

Western Michigan Hockey has a new bench boss.

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As was hinted at above, Ferschweiler has spent the last two seasons with the Broncos as an assistant but has also coached with the Grand Rapids Griffins and also been involved in the Detroit Red Wings organization.

The Broncos seem to be a pipeline for coaching talent that moves on. While Murray may not be heading to Grand Rapids or Detroit, he did take over for a familiar name to Red Wings fans.

Jeff Blashill was a coach with Western Michigan’s hockey program before he moved on to coach for the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Ferschweiler will be taking over a team he knows all too well, a team that was 10-12-3 in the 2020-21 season.

They climbed back after a horrific start in the NCHC Pod in Omaha, Nebraska, that might have been due to injuries to their starting netminder.

That being said, the Broncos will have their work cut out for them, but Ferschweiler should be able to do plenty with his group of guys and try to get back near the top of the NCHC conference. It’s a tall task given that Minnesota-Duluth and North Dakota are in the conference. Not to mention teams like Denver, Omaha, and Saint Cloud State are also clouding the top.

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It’s not exactly going to be the easiest route, but Ferschweiler should have an easier transition into the head coach role. As the Broncos get settled in again on campus in preparation for the 2021-22 season.