Air Force’s Haak tabbed winner of 2019 Senior CLASS Award

Kyle Haak of Air Force, Air Force vs. Boston College 10-7-16, Icebreaker Tournament, Magness Arena, Denver, Colorado. (Candace Horgan)
Kyle Haak played 141 games over four seasons at Air Force (photo: Candace Horgan).

Air Force forward Kyle Haak has been selected as the winner of the 2018-19 Senior CLASS Award winner.

The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I men’s hockey coaches, national hockey media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I men’s hockey.

Haak is the second player from Air Force to win the award after Jacques Lamoureux in 2011.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character and competition.

“I am extremely humbled by this award because of all the incredible accomplishments of the other candidates and amazing hockey players who have been a part of this award in the past,” said Haak in a news release. “The Air Force coaching staff gave me a chance to play Division I hockey when no one else was willing to fully commit to a third-year, age-out, junior hockey player. This changed my life trajectory forever. Once at the Academy, I was supported by academic faculty and military mentors to pursue opportunities in academics and military leadership while being a student-athlete. The discipline and teamwork that hockey taught me over the past two decades will carry forward in my education and service in the U.S. Air Force.

“The Air Force hockey team, senior class, coaches, academic advisors and other mentors were crucial to making post-graduation opportunities possible. My experiences as a student-athlete will always be a part of me as I move forward.”

This season, Haak tied for the team lead with 12 goals and was second on the team with 23 points. He led the Falcons with two short-handed goals and tied for the team lead with six power-play goals. A co-recipient of the Jim Bowman Award as the team’s top scholar-athlete for the second straight season, he finished his season as Air Force’s active career leader in goals (42) and points (87) in 141 games. As a sophomore and junior, he helped lead Air Force to the Atlantic Hockey tournament championship and the NCAA Elite Eight in 2017 and 2018.

“I have had the privilege of coaching a great number of extraordinary young men at the Air Force Academy and none more exceptional than Kyle Haak,” said Falcons coach Frank Serratore in a statement. “His list of accomplishments are well-documented. In addition to being an elite scholar and high-level athlete, Kyle is also a highly decorated cadet who leads by example in every facet of his life. Kyle embodies all the Senior CLASS Award represents and more. He is a very special young man and an outstanding selection for this prestigious award.”

In addition to his commitment to excellence on the ice, Haak also has worked diligently in the classroom, earning dean’s list and superintendent’s list honors every semester. A two-time academic All-American and three-time academic all-conference selection, Haak carries a 3.90 cumulative grade-point average as a physics major.

Displaying exceptional character and commitment to the community, Haak was selected as the Cadet of the Year, the most outstanding cadet among all commissioning resources in the entire Air Force Academy (16,000 people) for the 2017-2018 academic year and was the USAFA Cadet Squadron 31 Commander (May-December 2018), which is the highest ranking cadet in the squadron. An active volunteer in the Colorado Springs area, he has served with the Marion House Soup, Serenity Springs Colorado, the American Red Cross and also has assisted families with special needs children.

“We are thrilled to announce Kyle Haak as this year’s winner,” said Erik Miner, executive director of the Senior CLASS Award. “His collegiate career has been impressive both on and off the ice, including earning some of the top honors at the Academy, which speaks highly about who he is as an athlete, a student and a person. We offer our congratulations to Kyle and the entire Air Force Academy.”

Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-Americans
Chase Berger, Penn State
Kyle Haak, Air Force
Tanner Jago, Bentley
Sasha Larocque, Ohio State
Max Veronneau, Princeton

Senior CLASS Award Second-Team All-Americans
Mason Bergh, Colorado College
Erik Brown, RIT
Chase Priskie, Quinnipiac
Jimmy Schuldt, St. Cloud State
Josh Teves, Princeton