Notre Dame’s Jackson wins Spencer Penrose Award as Division I men’s coach of the year

Jeff Jackson has led Notre Dame to the Frozen Four for the second straight season (photo: Matt Dewkett).

Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson has been named the 2018 winner of the Spencer Penrose Award as the top coach in Division I men’s hockey.

The award, presented by the American Hockey Coaches Association, is the second for Jackson, who has been at Notre Dame since 2005. He also won in 2007.

AWARDS: List of Spencer Penrose Award winners

The Fighting Irish made the Frozen Four after winning both the Big Ten regular season and postseason titles in their first year as part of the conference.

Notre Dame is 27-9-2 entering a semifinal game against Michigan on Thursday.

Jackson has won two national championships, at Lake Superior State in 1992 and 1994. He has a 477-228-79 overall record in 19 seasons, including 295-176-54 in 13 seasons at Notre Dame.

This is his fourth trip to the Frozen Four with Notre Dame and second in a row.

The runner-up for the award was Ohio State’s Steve Rohlik, who also led the Buckeyes to the Frozen Four.

Jackson will receive the award during the AHCA convention in Naples, Fla., on April 25.


  1. Congrats Jackson.
    My choice….Sandelin.
    Others: Rholik (sp), Pearson, Shafer, Potulney.

    Is it Thursday yet?!!

      • marv? With a lower-case “m” at that? That’s just mean.
        Although, I suppose you could’ve gone all Ohio on him and call him “el”, since they like to remove “M”‘s and stuff. So there’s that.

  2. Sandlin did the most with the least! No one lost more key players than him…
    Another example of the “Need” to promote the not so Big 10

    • Being a Bulldog follower, you should know how to spell Scott Sandelin’s name. And enough of the inferiority complex. The voting was not rigged to promote the Big 10.

        • Now that is a quality tantrum. Well done! Glad that you are not representative of most Dog followers. You seem new to hockey but your claim that Scott Sandelin did the most with the least is not a compliment but rather a slap in the face at the current roster and at Sandelin and staff’s recruiting skills. Oh, and lighten up a bit. It’s only hockey.

          • No need to question my “Newness” to hockey, maybe new to this forum but not the game. to your initial comment, all you can come up with in response to my post is how I spelled SandElin’s name wrong and how you are tired of the bias vs the Big 10. How about telling me you disagree, state why, and we can have a discussion instead.
            I respect other people’s opinions and do not feel the need to correct spelling and usage. I think the coach and his staff were much more deserving of the award…my opinion! I fail to see how my comment was a “Slap in the face” ? Early departures and graduations of the teams top three scorers, defender and starting goalie along with the need to use 4-5 freshmen and a sophomore on defense are HUGE losses. The result, BECAUSE of their coaching and recruiting, is a trip to the Frozen 4 and a great argument for the award.

            I am sure you can nit-pick my spelling here but why not come back with an opinion of your own, not be a jerk and have a discussion with me about the merits of the coaches!

          • You respect the opinions of others? That was the gist of your second post here? Funny stuff. Scott Sandelin and staff did a great job this season given the losses from the previous team. That said, to say that he did more with less is a slap at the current roster and seems to be saying that the current players are not as talented as those that they replaced. As for the claim that Jeff Jackson won because of some agenda to promote Big 10 hockey, why don’t you provide some evidence to support said claim?

          • The gist of my 2nd post was, that was all you had to say, leave it alone. I don’t see you posting much in the way of fact, and in reading your posts and the article, all I see is Jackson’s and the teams past history and his record, nothing about what he came into the year with and the adversity his staff overcame. UMD had numerous players injured throughout the season), lost 5 players to the JR National Team (While it was great to have the talent to send that many), the season turned around when they were gone in winning out east.
            Again, facts. All you can do is somehow turn that into a “Slap” at the program, I don’t get it..

          • Oh, I see. You can post an opinion. But if I have an opinion that diverges from yours, I should leave it alone. Thanks for clarifying. You don’t get the “slap” part? Again, you stated that Scott Sandelin did more with less. Less than what? If you are saying that UMD has less talent than other teams, you are taking a shot at the talent on the roster and at the recruiting capabilities of the staff. You don’t think that Notre Dame lost any guys to injury during the season? They also lost several seniors and a couple of valuable underclassmen from last season, including the starting goalie and and All-American named Anders Bjork. Oh, and you still haven’t explained how the voting was configured to promote the Big 10.

          • You don’t have an opinion…other than saying, I am wrong. I am a Bulldog fan, I want to see them do well, I was sticking up for their coach. You can call it a “Slap” all you want.
            Why don’t you tell me who they lost and who graduated other than Bjork and then we would have something.
            The AHCA’s own article on their own award has little information on why he was picked other than he won it before, he came to the Big 10 and their record.
            This is going nowhere.

          • At no point did I post that you are wrong. Well, other than to note that you didn’t know the correct spelling of the name of the coach whom you are supporting. I simply have a differing opinion than do you. I don’t believe that this award is based on how many players each team lost from the previous season. If so, there not have to be voting. UMD had a final two team last season, which says that the roster was talented, well recruited, and well coached. Yes, they lost some key players, but, as UMD has done for the past decade, they filled those spots with some high end kids, and the returning players were highly talented as well. Scott Sandelin did a bang up job this year and could have easily won the award. Jeff Jackson did an outstanding job as well and is a deserving winner. Oh, and anything to support your claim that the voting was based on promoting the Big Ten?

  3. Sandelin has a lot of talent on his roster. I thought he was deserving of the award for bringing together a really young team that struggled early. No hard feelings. Notre Dame had a great year. Go Bulldogs!


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