Lumberjacks’ Tiffels commits to Western Michigan, cite’s Murray’s ability to speak German

By Michael Caples - 

You never know when that second language might come in handy.

For Andy Murray, it may have just helped him snag a top-tier recruit for his Western Michigan hockey program.

The Muskegon Lumberjacks recently announced that forward Frederik Tiffels has committed to play for Murray and the Broncos at the conclusion of his USHL career.

Tiffels, a native of Cologne, Germany, said that during his recruiting visits, Murray’s ability to speak with him in German was one of the convincing factors in committing to WMU. The Broncos’ bench boss coached three Swiss pro teams (EV Zug, Zurcher Schlittschuh and EHC Kloten) and a German team (EHC Berlin) during the 80’s and 90’s before returning to coach in North America.

“I took a couple of trips down (to Kalamazoo) and I was impressed with what the university had to offer in terms of academics and hockey facilities,” said Tiffels in a release from the Lumberjacks.  “The coaching staff made me feel welcomed and right at home.  It also helped that coach (Andy) Murray spoke fluent German, which made the visits there more comfortable and was a big selling point for me.”

The new Broncos commit was a second-round pick by the Lumberjacks in last year’s USHL Entry Draft (17th overall). He currently has 20 points in 36 games, along with a +12 rating.