Digit Murphy is the current Head Coach of the women’s professional hockey team, Kunlun Red Star and Head Coach of Team China Women’s Ice Hockey. Coach Murphy has over twenty years of coaching experience since her start at Division I Brown University. She has coached Olympians and All-Americans, and earned numerous ECAC and Ivy League titles. A key component to Murphy’s coaching philosophy is the belief in the growth of women’s presence in ice hockey and coaching, a passion she incorporates into all her work.
Coach Murphy spent 22 years as Brown University’s first female head coach and retired as one of the longest tenured coaches ever in collegiate women’s hockey. She also spent three seasons coaching the Boston Blades of the CWHL, winning the first (and only) non-Canadian Clarkson Cup.
Her teams have made it to the national semifinals four times, playing for the National Championship three times. Murphy led Brown to a record of .500 or better in 16 of her 22 seasons. Murphy also led Brown to five Ivy League titles, six ECAC regular seasons or tournament titles, and four National Championship appearances. Under her leadership, Murphy’s players have been named Ivy League Player of the Year eight times, ECAC Player of the Year three times, Ivy and ECAC Rookie of the Year, and ECAC Goaltender of the Year. Seven of Murphy’s players have played in the Olympics for the United States, Canada, and Japan. Four of which have been named All-Americans. Her players have also earned 13 first team All-ECAC selections and 26 first team All-Ivy selections.
In 2014, she was recognized by the American Hockey Coach’s Association as the fifth female coach to be honored with the Women’s Ice Hockey Founders Award. That same year, Murphy’s portrait was unveiled in the Brown Hockey Legends portrait gallery in Meehan Auditorium at Brown University. She was the first female to be recognized in the gallery. In 2013, the Blades captured the CWHL (Canadian Women’s Hockey League) regular season title and Clarkson Cup trophy. Murphy was named Coach of the Year as her players earned MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Goalie of the Year. During the 2006-2007 season, Murphy became the winningest coach in Division I women’s hockey history, picking up her 300th win.
In 2004, Murphy was inducted into the International Scholar Athlete Hall of Fame for her accomplishments both as a coach at Brown and as a student-athlete at Cornell, where the women’s hockey team’s MVP award is named after her. The same year, Murphy coached the U.S. National team at the Lake Placid Olympic Festival, where Brown University was represented by eight of the 60 players.
Murphy was the primary source for the start of the Rhode Island Girls’ High School Hockey, which was the first girls’ developmental hockey league that mentored players and developed new and inexperienced coaches and in 2002 her team won the first girls’ hockey state championship. In 2001, members of the media awarded Murphy the New England Hockey Writers’ Coach of the Year award.
Murphy was a member of the 1998 Olympic Selection Committee and has coached at the Junior National level in Lake Placid for eight years. In 1997 Murphy’s fellow coaches and the media honored her with both the ECAC/KOHO and the New England Hockey Writers’ Coach of the Year awards. In October 1996, she coached the U.S. National Team as an assistant at the Three Nations Tournament. Murphy was inducted into the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994. In 1992, Murphy’s well-respected hockey talents earned her the position of assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey National Team. Under Head Coach Russ McCurdy, she helped lead the U.S. to a silver medal in Finland.
Murphy graduated from Cornell University in 1983, where she was a four-year letter winner for the Big Red women’s ice hockey team. She captained the team as a junior and senior, and earned All-Ivy honors in each of her four seasons. In 1981, Murphy earned the crowning achievement of her playing career when she was named the Ivy League Player of the Year. As one of the all-time leading scorers at Cornell, Murphy had a total of 123 goals and 90 assists for 213 points.