Ryan Murphy grew up around hockey, but his journey hasn’t taken him on the ice. Instead, it’s taken him behind the scenes at St. Paul’s in New Hampshire, where his father, Daniel Murphy, is the head coach.
The younger Murphy is making a name for himself as a blossoming play-by-play announcer. Murphy, who is a sophomore at St. Paul’s, calls the games on video and also provides media materials for the team, including line charts and game notes
Murphy’s work is helping set apart St. Paul’s among the other prep schools in the region.
But Murphy didn’t always love the ice.
“When I was a kid, I hated it,” he laughed. “I wanted nothing to do with it. At the time, my dad was at Taft and I was forced to go to games. But then we were in Montreal and we went to a game up there, and I fell in love with it all of a sudden. I turned a corner and now what I do is what I’ve wanted to do for quite a while.”
Murphy has been working with his father’s teams for the past five or six years, he said. He started doing some work for his brother’s youth teams, and from there, his love for play-by-play has grown.
“You learn by listening, and I started with Gary Thorne and Bob Cole,” Murphy said. “Dave Randorf is another person I really admire.”
Most St. Paul’s players have dreams and aspirations to make the NHL as a player. Murphy said his aspirations are the same, only he would love to make the NHL in the announce booth.
In the summer, he has been attending a sports broadcasting camp — there are only about seven of them in the country.
“I want to do this at the highest level,” Murphy said. “That’s my dream. “I really love what I do. I really love broadcasting but I also enjoy the sports information part of it as well. I’d love for this to be my career.”
When it comes to high school and prep hockey, the amount of information available on players can be hit or miss. But at St. Paul’s, it’s run like a Division I college program, and that’s due to Murphy’s work. Show up on the game night, and there are line charts and other notes. That’s all Murphy.
“I’ve always been interested in how the college teams use Twitter and game notes,” he said. “I love that stuff. I draw a lot of inspiration from that. The model of what we try to do here is what they do at higher levels. I put a lot of time and energy into that stuff.”
Murphy’s schedule on game day is jam-packed, but it starts before that.
Let’s say he’s prepping for a Saturday game … the work begins on Thursday.
“Usually we will play on Wednesday, so on Thursday I start getting ready for Saturday, “he said. “After schoolwork, on Thursday and Friday, I am getting ready for the Saturday game. I print out game notes and for my broadcast, I write out the roster in big sharpie markers so I can read them during the game. If I know guys like Neutral Zone are coming, I’ll make sure we have extra line charts.
“Then I try to get to the rink about two hours before a game. I get all of my broadcast equipment set up and then I’ll head down to the locker room and get the jerseys and socks all set in there. Usually, I’ll talk to the opposing coach and get pronunciation on names correct. That means a lot of our people. Then I’ll have my hot chocolate and it’s time to do it. It’s nonstop. Then after the game, I spend about two or three hours updating our stats and making sure sites like Neutral Zone are getting all of our updates online.”
Murphy said the thanks he gets from families of players who live far away and can’t get to every game, means the most.
“They’re away from their kids,” he said, “so it’s important to them to be in touch with the program and with their kids. When I hear from parents about our broadcasts, that really means a lot to me.”
On top of all that, at home, Murphy’s work with his father’s team has allowed him to work closer to the man he admires most.
“I’ve always looked forward to working with him,” Murphy said. “When we moved, I had to make the decision on whether I wanted to stay at my town school, Bishop Brady, or come here. I chose to come here so that I could work with him. Really, he was the biggest reason. I always wanted to work with him like this and it wasn’t an opportunity I wanted to pass up.
“I love it … and I love what I do.”
See his YouTube Channel: HERE