Thursday, December 9, 2010

REGINA PATS LEGEND

MURRAY ARMSTRONG

PASSES AWAY


Here's an obituary that was submitted by his son Rob:


ST. AUGUSTINE, Florida – Former Regina Pats coach and NHL star Murray "The Chief"Armstrong has died of complications following a series of strokes. He was 94, just 24 days shy of his 95th birthday. He was born in Manor, Saskatchewan on January 1, 1916.

After playing junior hockey in Regina, Armstrong played nine years in the National Hockey League in the 1930s and '40s, finishing his career with the Detroit Red Wings. After World War II he then returned to Regina and coached the Pats until he was hired by the University of Denver.

Armstrong coached the DU Pioneers from 1956 until 1977, amassing one of the most impressive records in college hockey history. His teams won five NCAA championships and finished as runners-up four times. (Photo: by permission of Denver University)

When he arrived he promised to give DU a national championship in three years or he’d quit. He delivered on the promise in only two years.

Armstrong often said his proudest accomplishment was “all of the fine young men” whose lives he touched. He was in contact with many of his former players to the end.

In 2009, his former players created a book of “Murray-isms” – some of his sayings that live on. They called it “Don’t Think, It Weakens the Club.” Among his favorite sayings: “Excuses are for losers.”

He retired to Venice, Florida in 1977 where he pursued his other sporting passion – golf. He played the game regularly until 2010 when he was 94. He’s in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2000, he and his wife moved to St. Augustine, Florida, to be closer to his son and his wife.

Armstrong is survived by Freda, his wife of 68 years, and his son, Rob.

Memorial donations should be directed to: Community Hospice Foundation, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32257.