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Wheat Kings Fire MacGillivray, GM Murray to Take Over Duties

Photos by Scott Stroh

Wheat Kings Fire MacGillivray, GM Murray to Take Over Duties

On Monday morning, the Brandon Wheat Kings announced a major coaching change. Second year bench boss Don MacGillivray was fired, while current general manager Marty Murray was promoted to serve as the head coach moving forward.

“These types of decisions are very difficult in our business, especially when dealing with good people,” Murray said in a team-issued release. “We are not satisfied with our record, especially on home ice. Everyone must accept responsibility, including management, coaches, and players. We owe it to the fans and this great organization to be better, and that is what our focus will be.”

The 60-year-old Antigonish, NS product spent the past seven seasons with the Wheat Kings, and two as head coach. His ties to the province of Manitoba date back to the early 1980s as a player-turned-coach of the then MJHL’s St. James Canadians. He also spent time with the Neepawa Natives, Portage Terriers, Winnipeg Blues and University of Manitoba Bisons before heading to Brandon in 2016.

After posting a 35-28-5 record in 68 games last year, MacGillivray’s 2022-23 season was cut short, way short, thanks to a difficult start to the year. The Wheat Kings currently sit second last in the Eastern Conference with an 8-15-2 record through 25 games. They are 2-7-1 in their past 10 games and are the second-most penalized team league-wide. Brandon has won just two games at Westoba Place this year, going 2-7-2 at home.

According to the club, assistant coaches Mark Derlago and Del Pedrick will remain on the team’s staff.

Murray will be the 25th head coach in Wheat Kings history when his boys step onto the ice on Friday night against the Swift Current Broncos for the first of a two-game home series. Since finishing his professional career in 2010, Murray immediately became involved in coaching. He spent nine years with the NAHL’s Minot Minotauros, before taking over behind the bench of the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.

“We would like to thank Don for his contributions and passion towards the Wheat King organization over the years, and we wish him nothing but the best,” Murray concluded.

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at carterbrooks1994@gmail.com or on Twitter at @GameOnHockey.

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