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Digit Murphy

271| Digit Murphy: Champion, Women’s Sports

As a child, I tried to sign up for Little League, and they said, “No” you’re a girl.  And I remember thinking:  That’s not right. It hurt me in my heart.   -Digit Murphy

Margaret Pearl “Digit” Degidio Murphy admits that as a child, she cried when she couldn’t play baseball or ice hockey just because she was a girl.   As she skated alone around local ponds in her hometown of Cranston, Rhode Island, Digit knew she could be a champion.  A scrappy kid from the wrong side of the tracks, she decided to never give up trying and, in the wake of crucial changes thanks to #title9,  continued to break down barriers for women and girls in sports. A student athlete at Cornell, Digit was named Ivy League Player of the Year, finishing her college career with 123 goals and 90 assists.  Digit loved the sport so much, she coached at Brown University for 23 seasons and holds the record as the winningest ice hockey coach in NCAA Division 1 history.  But as she climbed the ladder in sports, Digit experienced pay inequality herself and fought for Olympic ice hockey athletes to be paid for the very first time.  She would go on to coach on the pro level in the US, Canada, and China, with a philosophy focused on leading, guiding, and directing athletes.  Says Digit:  “You are like a conductor creating energy. You give your athletes a roadmap and the keys to the car, and then you let them drive.”  In this interview, Digit takes us for a wild ride through a career in ice hockey that stands alone when it comes to creating opportunities for females:  “Half a loaf is not enough. We cannot lose what we fought so hard to have. You have to have gritty, intestinal fortitude in order to continue to push boundaries, and I’d like to see all women doing that in all areas of sport.”  For 25 minutes of true grit, just hit that download button. @digitmurphy @usahockey

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