The late Ralph “Cooney” Weiland, the coach of the Harvard men’s hockey team for 21 seasons, has been announced as the 2006 recipient of the Hobey Baker Legend of College Hockey Award and will be honored Thursday, May 11, at the Hobey Baker Award Banquet in St. Paul, Minn.
A 1971 inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Weiland is the longest-tenured coach in Harvard history and ranks second on the school’s career wins list with a 315-174-17 record at Harvard. In his tenure as head coach from 1950 to 1971, he led the Crimson to six Ivy League championships, five NCAA tournament appearances, five Beanpots and two ECAC championships.
Current Harvard head coach Ted Donato will speak on behalf of Weiland at the Hobey Baker Award Banquet, which will be held May 11 at 317 On Rice Park in St. Paul, Minn.
Weiland, a Seaforth, Ont., native, was twice named coach of the year by the American Hockey Coaches Association – first in 1955, when he led the Crimson to third place in the NCAA tournament, and again in his final season, when his team captured the ECAC tournament. The New England Hockey Writers Association named Weiland its coach of the year five times and honored him with the Schaefer Pen Award for contribution to amateur hockey in 1962. He received the Lester Patrick Award for contribution to hockey in the United States in 1972.
Weiland coached seven All-Americans, including three-time first-team selection Joe Cavanagh and two-time pick David Johnston. His players earned a total of 26 first team All-Ivy honors, highlighted by the 1956-57 team, which was comprised entirely of Crimson players.
Four of Weiland’s Harvard players helped the 1960 U.S. Olympic team win the gold medal in Squaw Valley. Among that group was the legendary Bill Cleary, who went on to assist Weiland and succeed him as head coach at Harvard. Cleary served in that role for 19 seasons and as athletic director for 11. He earned the Hobey Baker Legend of College Hockey Award in 1993.
Weiland’s name has been etched on the Stanley Cup three times, twice as a player. He won the Cup with the Boston Bruins as a rookie in 1929 and captained the championship team in 1939. Weiland scored 43 goals in 44 games and won the Art Ross Trophy as the National Hockey League’s top scorer with 73 points in 1930, shattering Howie Morenz’s single-season record of 51 points. He had an 11-year NHL career with the Bruins, Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings and was a second-team all-star in 1935.
When his playing career ended, Weiland coached the Bruins for two seasons, posting a 58-20-18 record and winning the 1941 Stanley Cup. He coached the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears for five years before coming to Harvard.
Weiland was born Nov. 5, 1904 and died July 3, 1985.