For his efforts in leading the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame to their first ever CCHA regular season title, Jeff Jackson has been chosen winner of the 2007 Spencer Penrose Award as Division I Men’s Coach of the Year. Notre Dame went 32-7-3, ending the regular season ranked No. 1 in the country for five consecutive weeks. The Irish improved its CCHA league record by a whopping 19 points over the 2005-06 standings.
For Jackson, a 1978 graduate of Michigan State, this is the first such honor and the first national Coach of the Year award for Notre Dame as well. Arriving at Notre Dame in 2005, Jackson has compiled a mark of 45-26-7 in South Bend. This is Jackson’s second stint in the CCHA, having coached Lake Superior State from 1990-1996, winning NCAA titles with the Lakers in 1992 and 1994. His collegiate career record through eight seasons is 227-78-32.
Between college head coaching assignments, Jackson was the first head coach of USA Hockey’s National Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., and he also served in the OHL as head coach of the Guelph Storm and as a New York Islanders assistant coach.
The runners-up for this year’s AHCA Men’s Division I Coach of the Year award were Joe Marsh of St. Lawrence and Rick Comley of Michigan State.
Other finalists for this year’s award were Dave Burkholder, Niagara; Dave Hakstol, North Dakota; Bob Motzko, St. Cloud State University; Brian Riley, Army; Jamie Russell, Michigan Tech; Richard Umile, New Hampshire; Tim Whitehead, Maine; and Jerry York, Boston College.
The Spencer Penrose Award is named in memory of the Colorado Springs benefactor who built the Broadmoor Hotel Complex, site of the first ten NCAA championship hockey tournaments. It will be presented at the AHCA Coach of the Year Banquet in Naples, Fla., on Saturday, April 28.