After just one season at the helm, Sarah Murray will be leaving Owatonna High School to take over as the head coach of the Saint Mary’s University women’s hockey team.
This information is per the SMU Sports Information Department and confirmed by OHS Activities Director, Marc Achterkirch.
“We are thrilled to announce Sarah Murray as the head coach of our women’s hockey program,” said SMU Athletics Director Brian Sisson in a release published at smumn.edu. “Sarah’s energy, passion, competitiveness, and desire to provide a transformational student-athlete experience to our Cardinal student-athletes is what stood out most throughout the process.”
In her only season with the Huskies, Murray guided the youthful team to an 11-11-3 record and 10-4-1 mark in Big Nine Conference play. Owatonna bowed out in the opening round of the Section 1-AA tournament to Dodge County, 2-0.
Prior to joining OHS, Murray spent 2018 as the head coach of the Korean National Team at the Winter Olympics. She is a graduate of Shattuck-St. Mary’s and Minnesota-Duluth. In college, she won back-to-back Division I National Championships with the Bulldogs.
SMU is a Division III university located in Winona. The Cardinals finished 9-11-6 last season and haven’t produced a winning season since 2003-04 when they finished 15-9-1.
With Murray out of the picture, Owatonna will look to hire its fourth coach in four years. Tim Hunst stepped down in 2017 to spend more time with his family and was replaced by Dan Paur, who left after one season to concentrate on coaching OHS girls lacrosse. He was then replaced by Murray for the 2018-19 campaign.
The open position is currently listed on the district’s web site and is offering roughly $7,400 per season. Tony Cloud and Amanda Reed were Murray’s top assistant’s last season.
On paper, Owatonna certainly contains an intriguing blend of talent as the 2018-19 team featured 16 underclassmen or junior high students, many of which played predominant roles on a team that finished fourth in the Big Nine Conference and finished second in the league in goals-allowed-per-game.