For his efforts in leading Miami to the CCHA regular-season title, Enrico Blasi has been chosen winner of the 2006 Spencer Penrose Award as Division I Men’s Coach of the Year.
The RedHawks went 26-9-4, capturing the school’s second regular season championship and, for the first time, being ranked No. 1 in the USCHO.com/CSTV Networks poll during the season. This is the first such honor for Blasi and the second for Miami, which claimed the award in 1993 when George Gwozdecky, now at Denver, was coaching at Miami.
A 1994 graduate of Miami, Blasi began his coaching career as an assistant coach for the Wexford Raiders junior team in 1994. He served as an assistant coach to George Gwozdecky at Denver for four years before he was named head coach at his alma mater in 1999 at the age of 27.
Blasi became the winningest coach in Miami history with his 26 victories this season, giving him 130 wins in seven seasons, surpasing the previous mark of 121 set by Steve Cady from 1978-1985. Blasi’s career record is 130-116-23.
This season, CCHA coaches voted him CCHA Coach of the Year, the third time he has received the honor in just seven seasons as a head coach. Blasi was earlier also named USCHO.com’s All-USCHO Coach of the Year.
As a player, Blasi led a revival at Miami, scoring 123 career points, leading his squad to its first league title, and serving as captain of the 1993-94 squad. A native of Weston, Ontario, Blasi earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education.
The runners-up for this year’s AHCA Men’s Division I Coach of the Year award were Mike Eaves of Wisconsin, Jack Parker of Boston University, and Jerry York of Boston College.
Other finalists for this year’s award were Dave Burkholder, Niagara; Bob Gaudet, Dartmouth; Dave Hakstol, North Dakota; Don Lucia, Minnesota; Bob Motzko, St. Cloud State University; Brian Riley, Army; and Tim Whitehead, Maine.
The Spencer Penrose Award is named in memory of the Colorado Springs benefactor who built the Broadmoor Hotel Complex, site of the first 10 NCAA championship hockey tournaments. It will be presented at the AHCA Coach of the Year Banquet in Naples, Fla., on Apr. 29.