The American Hockey Coaches Association honored three coaches for their efforts this season; two led their teams to national championships, while the third is the first woman to win the award twice.
The coaches are Wisconsin-Superior men’s coach Dan Stauber, Elmira women’s coach Jamie Wood and Minnesota women’s coach Laura Halldorson.
Stauber’s team finished 24-5-5 and won the Division III national championship. He earned the Edward Jeremiah Award as men’s College Division coach of the year.
UW-Superior’s season was all the more remarkable considering Stauber had to replace nine players who accounted for 200 points last season. The group of newcomers he brought on board accounted for 174 points.
Stauber played for Superior from 1984 through 1988. After playing in Sweden for a year, he launched his coaching career as an assistant at UW-Eau Claire. He then became a successful high school coach at Waupaca High School in Wisconsin and with his alma mater, the Duluth Denfield Hunters. He returned to Superior as an assistant in 1998.
The runner-up was Terry Meagher, head coach of Bowdoin.
Wood led Elmira’s first-year program to the inaugural NCAA Division III women’s championship and was named the AHCA College Division women’s coach of the year.
Wood’s team compiled a 26-1-1 record, including a 25-game unbeaten streak. With 18 first-year players, one sophomore and one junior, the Soaring Eagles won the ECAC West regular-season title and tournament.
Runners-up were Rick Seeley of Manhattanville and Mike Carroll of Gustavus Adolphus.
Halldorson, named women’s University Division coach of the year, also won that honor in 1998. This season, she led Minnesota to 28 victories and the WCHA regular-season and tournament championships.
The Gophers finished 28-4-6 and were ranked No. 1 in the country for much of the year. Minnesota lost to Brown in the NCAA semifinals, 2-1.
Halldorson, a 1985 graduate of Princeton, was a three-time All-Ivy player before beginning her coaching career at Colby, where her seven-year record was 59-75-9. The Plymouth, Minn., native became Minnesota’s first head coach in 1997; her five-year mark with the Gophers is 133-30-15. Her 192 total victories rank her fourth among active women’s coaches.
The runner-up was Digit Murphy, head coach of NCAA runner-up Brown.