Barr leaving Providence for Western Michigan associate head coach job

Providence assistant Ben Barr is moving to Western Michigan to be associate head coach.

The Kalamazoo Gazette and Providence Journal both reported the move, which won’t be official until paperwork is completed at Western Michigan.

Barr moved to Providence from Union when Nate Leaman was named the Friars’ head coach in 2011. And he played for Western Michigan coach Andy Murray at Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep school.

“It the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make, but for my development it’s something I have to do. It will be a great thing for me,” Barr told the Providence Journal.

“There’s probably one guy in college hockey that I would go [and work] for outside of Nate. And it was Andy. … Nate’s been the best friend to me.”

Barr replaces Rob Facca, who left for a scouting position with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Providence will have two new assistant coaches next season. Former Denver and Miami assistant Steve Miller was announced last month as the replacement for Jamie Russell.