Former Flanagan Award winner Saunders passes away at 84

saundersBob Saunders, who served on the staffs of Massachusetts-Boston, Holy Cross, Rensselaer, Northeastern, passed away Nov. 3 at the age of 84.

Saunders, a resident of Randolph, Mass., for 60 years, worked as an administrative assistant for external affairs for the Northeastern hockey program for 22 years. He previously served as goaltenders coach from 1989 to 1993. Prior to that, he was on the staff at Rensselaer for 11 years, including RPI’s NCAA championship season of 1984-85.

A 1961 Northeastern graduate, Saunders had been a part of the New England hockey community nearly all his life, competing on several amateur teams in his playing days before entering the collegiate coaching ranks as an assistant at Holy Cross in 1973. He coached at every level, including a stretch from 1994 to 1997 at Massachusetts-Boston.

“Bob Saunders was a Northeastern Husky through and through,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan in a statement. “He was a key member of our support staff for more than two decades, and our team appreciated the expertise and excitement that he brought to the rink every day. His passion for the game was infectious and he will be sorely missed, but the impact he left on our program and the hundreds of student-athletes he interacted with will be felt for years to come.”

In 1998, Saunders was given the AHCA’s Terry Flanagan Award for lifetime achievement and three years later, was given the Friends of NU Hockey Fernie Flaman Award for dedication and commitment to NU hockey.

Saunders is survived by his wife of 63 years, Geraldine, and children, R. Daniel Saunders and Geralyn Saunders, grandsons, David, and his wife, Dana, and Derek, granddaughter, Emily, and great-grandson, Shane.

Visiting hours will be held at the Hurley Funeral Home in Randolph on Monday, Nov. 7, from 4 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in Saunders’ memory can be made to the Brockton VA Hospital Hospice Unit in Brockton, Mass.

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