April 10, 2007
Notre Dame, Ind. -
Notre Dame head hockey coach Jeff Jackson has been chosen as the winner of the 2007 Spencer Penrose Award as the Division I men's hockey coach of the year.
This marks the first time that Jackson has won the Spencer Penrose Award and makes him the first Notre Dame hockey coach to be receive the award. He will be honored on Saturday, April 28 at the American Hockey Coaches Association's (AHCA) coach of the year awards banquet held in Naples, Fla.
Now in his second year at Notre Dame, Jackson led the Irish to their best-ever season with a 32-7-3 overall record and a 21-4-3 mark in the CCHA and the program's first-ever regular season title and tournament championship. The Irish had a 19-point improvement in the CCHA standings from 2005-06 to 2006-07 and won 19 more games overall in Jackson's second year behind the bench. They were the top-ranked team in the nation from Feb. 5 through March 19 and were a number one seed in the NCAA Midwest Regional at Grand Rapids, Mich.
The 2007 CCHA coach of the year, Jackson guided the Irish to their second NCAA tournament appearance ever in 2007 and the first-ever win, a 3-2 double-overtime victory against Alabama-Huntsville on March 23. Notre Dame's season ended on March 24 in a 2-1 loss to eventual NCAA champion, Michigan State on March 24.
In two seasons behind the Notre Dame bench, the 1978 Michigan State grad owns a 45-26-7 (.622) record with the Irish. His career collegiate mark stands at 227-78-32 (.721) in eight seasons (six at Lake Superior State and two at Notre Dame).
During his tenure at Lake Superior State (1990-96) Jackson's teams advanced to the NCAA championship game in three consecutive seasons, winning in 1992 and 1994. In six seasons with the Lakers, Jackson saw his teams win two CCHA regular-season titles and four CCHA tournament championships. His record at Lake Superior in the CCHA playoffs was 24-2 with the two losses coming in the championship game.
Besides Notre Dame and Lake Superior, Jackson has served as the national coach and the senior director of the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. (1996-2000); head coach of the OHL's Guelph Storm (2000-03) and two years as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders (2003-05).
The runners-up for the 2007 Spencer Penrose Award were Joe Marsh of St. Lawrence and Rick Comley of Michigan State. The other finalists for the award included; Dave Burkholder, Niagara; Dave Hakstol, North Dakota; Bob Motzko, St. Cloud State; Brian Riley, Army; Jamie Russell, Michigan Tech; Dick Umile, New Hampshire; Tim Whitehead, Maine and Jerry York, Boston College.
To be a finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award, a coach must either be voted his conference coach of the year or guide his team to the NCAA Frozen Four.
The award is named in honor of the former Colorado Springs benefactor who built the Broadmoor Hotel Complex, site of the first 10 NCAA Hockey Championships.