David Murdoch leaves British Curling to lead Canadian national teams

Before becoming a coach, Mr Murdoch enjoyed a successful career on the ice as the only Scottish person to captain two World Championship winning teams. Credit: Mike Burns

The head coach of British Curling, David Murdoch, has announced he will leave the position to take up a role as Curling Canada’s high performance director.

The 44-year-old from Lockerbie made the transition to coaching on his retirement from playing the sport six years ago and was appointed to his current position as head of Britain’s Olympic teams at the start of the last Olympic cycle.

During Murdoch’s time as Olympic Head Coach, he helped to win Team GB’s only medals at last year’s Winter Olympics; won back-to-back title wins at the last two World Mixed Doubles Championships; led the Scottish men’s and women’s teams to win for the first time ever at the 2021 European Championships, and won gold medals for Scotland’s men at the World Junior Championships in 2022 and the World University Games in January 2023.

Before becoming a coach, Mr Murdoch enjoyed a successful career on the ice as the only Scottish person to captain two World Championship winning teams, while also claiming three European titles and leading his team to the Olympic final in 2014.

Murdoch said: “It’s probably been the toughest decision I have made in my life and I say that because British Curling has been a huge part of my life as an athlete.”

“They shaped me as an athlete, through the transition into coaching which is very difficult, stepping away from everything you have known as an athlete to try to develop yourself as a coach and also through the further transition to Olympic Head Coach in developing the leadership skills required to do that."

Following last year’s Olympic success, he picked up a string of honours including coach of the year at the Sport Scotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering (COV) Awards, and the prestigious Mussabini Medal from UK Coaching, before he visited Holyrood Palace in January to receive an MBE for his services to sport.

“British Curling is in a very good place. I am very proud of the legacy and what we have achieved together. When you look back more than four years ago we had a vision of how can we be the best and what does it take to be the best and that was about cultural change and getting all to buy in to that change and that is never easy,” said Murdoch.

British Curling’s Executive Performance Director Nigel Holl paid tribute to the work Murdoch has done for the sport.

“Clearly we are disappointed to lose Dave’s services, given the success he has helped bring to the British and Scottish game, however we wish him well in his new challenge.

“His recruitment by what has historically been the most successful nation in the global game should also reinforce the confidence felt throughout our playing and coaching teams in the systems we have put in place since the establishment of the National Curling Academy in 2017.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...