Providence senior forward Kyle Murphy has capped his college career as the 2013 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award winner.
“I am extremely honored and deeply humbled to accept the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award,” Murphy said in a statement. “Derek was a great hockey player, but more importantly, he was an extraordinary person. Derek’s infectious personality, natural leadership ability and genuine spirit truly embody the perfect teammate and I will strive each day to live my own life as Derek so selflessly lived his.”
Hines played at Army and was killed in Afghanistan while serving the United States in 2005.
“Kyle has been extremely influential over the last two years in turning this program into a top-four program in Hockey East this season, bringing all the attributes of a winner to the team,” added Providence coach Nate Leaman.
Murphy started his NCAA career at Notre Dame in 2009-10, but left after the season for the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League. He took 36 credit hours, earning an ‘A’ in every class, in order to graduate with an associate’s degree while helping the Vipers to the 2011 BCHL championship.
Murphy then chose to attend Providence in 2011 only to learn that prior to the season, he was ruled a partial qualifier and only allowed to participate in Friars’ practices for the season.
The adversity did not deter Murphy, who was named captain for the 2012-13 season before he even played one game for the Friars.
“Kyle brings excellent character and he is one the best leaders I have been fortunate enough to coach,” Leaman added. “The hardest thing you are trying to do when you take over a program is to build a winning culture and having Kyle as the leader of the program within the locker room enabled us to do that very quickly here. Showing everyone how we want to represent our program on and off the ice in terms of work ethic and the grit and determination it takes to win games.”
Murphy had three goals and eight assists this past season, while two of his goals were game-winners. He also led the team with 44 blocked shots.
Murphy is on pace to graduate this spring with a BS in finance.
“I want to thank the Hines family and the Derek Hines Fund for their tireless work to honor Derek’s legacy by supporting the brave men and women of our military,” Murphy said. “I also want to thank Coach Leaman, his staff and all of my teammates at Providence College for the incredible experience that I have enjoyed these past two years. I am truly grateful to have been chosen for this award from among so many talented student-athletes.”
Off the ice, Murphy played an integral role in the team’s “drafting” of then seven-year old Kevin Rich through Team IMPACT. Throughout the season, Murphy and his teammates included Kevin, who is battling leukemia, in team events and welcomed him to the locker rooms after games. They also visited Kevin on Halloween, his birthday and took him to the American Hockey League’s All-Star game at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence this past January.