UB to name Alumni Arena practice facility

Posted on April 20, 2010 by UB Press Report

Thanks to a $220,000 gift from former University at Buffalo hockey player Tunney Murchie and his family, the newly renovated practice facility in Alumni Arena will be named in honor of Ed Wright who has served UB for over 40 years as a coach, administrator and teaching professional.

Murchie is owner and president of Lackawanna Products Corporation in Buffalo, NY. He is a 1975 graduate of Buffalo with a degree in management and also earned his MBA from UB in 1976. He played hockey for the Bulls from 1971-73 and was an assistant coach with the program in 1974. His wife, Deanna, is a 1974 graduate of Buffalo with a degree in public health. The entire Murchie family felt this was a fitting way to honor Wright for his lifetime commitment to athletics and the University at large.

Wright was an accomplished hockey player who played at Boston University as well as junior hockey in Canada. In 1970, he was hired as head coach at UB - becoming the first African-American collegiate hockey coach in the United States. He had a 133-130-6 record over 11 years. Wright also served as a guest clinician at several NCAA, Canadian and NHL hockey camps, including the Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs.

In 1981, Wright was named the Director of Recreation and Intramurals at UB and held that post until 1992. He is currently the Assistant Director of Recreation and Intramurals along with several other responsibilities, including UB Club Sports Director, teaching coordinator and student-services related to recreation and intramurals.

Wright’s name will grace the entrance to the recently-renovated practice facility in Alumni Arena. The facility was renovated in the summer of 2009 and is now a state-of-the-art practice facility for UB’s athletic programs, including basketball and volleyball. It is also used by recreation and intramurals as well as class instruction.

“The Murchie family have long supported UB athletics and we are grateful that they share in our vision of building championship teams at UB,” athletic director Warde Manuel said. “Naming the facility in honor of Ed Wright is a fitting tribute to a man who has dedicated over 40 years of service to the University.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 24, prior to the Bulls’ Spring Football Game.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB’s more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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