June 6, 2012
Tim Murray, the Assistant General Manager of the Ottawa Senators, not only expressed his excitement about new Binghamton Senators head coach Luke Richardson at the May 23rd press conference, but he also welcomed back assistant coach Steve Stirling and video coach Matt Meacham.
Before Murray finished his opening comments, he noted that the two coaches will prove to be instrumental to the staff as Richardson settles in as head coach. “I think that the experience that Steve brings as a former head coach and assistant coach is invaluable,” Murray said, “and I think that Matt has just, every year, learned more and more about the game. He will be another guy that leaves Binghamton at some point, and deservingly so. He’s headed on to bigger and better things at some point in his career.”
Richardson, in his address to the media, displayed a sense of relief about the return of Stirling and Meacham. “Most importantly about taking the job, I was very excited that both Steve and Matt are staying on because it’s going to be an invaluable experience for me to have their knowledge of the league and the past few years to help me along.”
As he transitions from Ottawa to Binghamton, the tenured presence of Stirling and Meacham is a calming one for Richardson, who is among the younger coaches in the league. “I look forward to having that experience,” Richardson said, “and whenever I need an extra ear to make a decision with the knowledge of what’s gone on here in the past – what worked, what hasn’t worked, and what some of the players tendencies are that are back here next year.”
Although the final decision was up to Richardson, there was no doubt in Murray’s mind that both Stirling and Meacham would return to the coaching staff next season. “To me, they should be back, but he’s the head coach. So when we hired him, we asked him to talk to both guys,” Murray explained. “With Luke being a first year head coach, I thought having experience down here would be great for him.”
Murray noted how the hiring of Richardson occurred at an ideal time in the offseason, and that it wasn’t too early to get the B-Sens moving forward in the right direction again. “If you can find the right guy early and he can get acclimated down here… he can do what he has to do. Go over tape with Matty and talk to Steve,” he explained. “I think the earlier you can get in and start your job, the better.”
Both Stirling and Meacham will play a key role in assisting Richardson in adjusting to some of the challenges that come along with being a head coach. “We all need someone to lean on. It doesn’t matter what your title is or what your job is, and I think he has the right two guys to lean on,” Murray concluded. “It was his choice, and his choice alone, but I know this organization is very happy that’s the choice he made."
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