For taking the Elmira Soaring Eagles back to the national championship game, and posting a perfect 18-0-0 regular season record in the very competitive ECAC West, Dean Jackson has been named USCHO’s coach of the year.
Overall, the Soaring Eagles went 26-3-1 on the year, continuing an impressive run that has seen Elmira become one of the powerhouses of Division III. After finishing second in the ECAC West in 2012-2013 with a 14-2 conferene record and 24-5-1 overall record, Elmira won the national championship that year. Elmira then went out in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2013-2014 to Norwich, a season that saw them go 21-6-1.
The Soaring Eagles spent most of the season at either one or two in the USCHO.com Women’s D-III Poll, taking over from rival Plattsburgh after an impressive sweep of the Cardinals Jan. 31-Feb. 1 by 2-1 and 6-2 scores.
Jackson coached his seniors to impressive final performances, with Ashley Ryan leading the country in scoring with 61 points and Ashton Hogan finishing second with 51 points. Elmira had four scorers in the top 12 nationally, and five seniors finsihed with over a point per game average.
Ultimately, the Soaring Eagles fell short of reclaiming the national championship from Plattsburgh, as the Cardinals defeated Elmira in the ECAC West Tournament final to claim home ice for the NCAA tournament, then edged the Soaring Eagles in the national championship game, 3-2.
Jackson edged Plattsburgh coach Kevin Houle and Trinity coach Jenny Potter for the honor. USCHO’s awards are voted on by the editor and writers.