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Sunday, February 9, 2014

It's Been a Long Time Coming--PROVIDENCE COLLEGE DOES IT RIGHT FOR WOMENS HOCKEY!

Digit Murphy and Long Time PC  Asst Bob Bellmore
It's been a long time coming....When I first spoke these words at Brown University as the Head Women's Hockey Coach  after our victory in the first ever Mayor's Cup in 1995 or was it 1996? whenever...it was a long time ago... and it HAD BEEN a "long time coming"! The first ever Mayor's Cup in Women's Hockey when yes that's right it had been a tradition in men's hockey forever--or so it seemed to a young trailblazer...But that didn't stop our administration at Brown at the time to blast me for providing a negative comment in the then only form of printed media in Providence---THE PROJO (our affectionate name for the Providence Journal).  At the time I was in my early years at Brown and most people would tell you that those were the years of my "political incorrectness" but whatever...in my mind I was simply telling the truth!

Now in my tenure as head coach of the Boston Blades the only US women's Professional Hockey Team, I had the opportunity of playing in a first rate venue for women's hockey!  I have seen other venues on college campuses, so WHAT separated this venue...WHAT was the thing that impressed me the most about this amazing facility?  Was it the grandiose lobby, the have everything at your fingertips coaches offices,  the professional team (better than the Boston Bruins) locker room, the complete with leather seats classroom for the athletes, the shooting facility, the weight room (complete with astroturf for warm ups), the training room with dualing hot tubs, the doctors offices to privately work on athletes, the impeccable visitors locker rooms, the high tech sound system, the jumbo-tron, the luxury boxes...NO what impressed me the most was the TREATMENT of the Women and its supporters...the administration and staff in their actions said that the women TRULY mattered. The facilities people and athletic administrators were polite, attentive, positive, helpful and this is a testament to the administration at Providence.  The Athletic Director, Bob Driscoll and his staff have really made an effort to make women's hockey a showcase sport at PC.  My hats off to them.  I will give credit as well to Nate Lehman and his staff for welcoming the women's game and having a cooperative hockey spirit! It takes everyone in hockey to be supportive of each other if we are all to move forward with our sport and succeed in the future! I am incredibly grateful for that--so as I finished in my email to Coach Bobby D--I never thought I'd say this as the long time Brown coach and Cornell alum....but as a true women's advocate I say give credit where credit id due--GO FRIARS!!

Here is an email that I'd like to share to Bob Deraney--I thank him for believing in our sport and being a true advocate--thanks again!



Hey Bobby,

We had a great time playing our game in your rink yesterday. We are so grateful to you and your staff for letting us be a part of your tremendous celebration.  Your staff, your administration, your team, and your alums, were fabulous ambassadors for the game. Providence College is truly committed to providing a "Cadillac" experience for your athletes. You have no idea how this warms my heart as someone who has been in the game for so long and who has fought for equity in women's sports.  It really has been a long time coming and we have arrived at PC.  

Venues like Providence's and excellent  treatment of the women's hockey program and its guests by your professional staff are examples that women are important in our game.  I believe that this is the tip of the iceberg!  The Blades game was good hockey and you letting us showcase it in your arena says so much about you and your program's commitment to our sport.  Your alums were proud and beaming!  They are really lucky to have so much support from the Trustees on down to of course you, Meredith, Mel, and Brooksie! So thanks again and good luck in the rest of the season--I never thought I hear my self say this as the long time Brown coach...but GO FRIARS!

Take Care,


1 comment:

  1. I love stories where women's sports gets the respect it deserves!

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