Former Michigan hockey goalie, forward Childs named recipient of 2020 Lou Lamoriello Award

Ross Childs started as a goalie and then switched to forward during his career more than 60 years ago at Michigan (photo: Michigan Athletics).

The American Hockey Coaches Association will present the 2020 Lou Lamoriello Award to former Michigan forward and goaltender Ross Childs during this year’s Frozen Four weekend in Detroit.

Named after the former Providence player, coach and athletic director, the award recognizes a former college hockey player or coach who goes on to success in a professional career, in or outside of athletics. It was created in 2004 by a group of retired NCAA men’s hockey coaches to honor their friend and peer, Lou Lamoriello.

Childs is a member of the Michigan class of 1959, having played for coaches Vic Heyliger and Al Renfrew.

A native of Owen Sound, Ont., Childs played from 1956 to 1959. He played goal in his first two seasons before switching to forward in his senior year. During his sophomore season, he backstopped Michigan to victories in 12 of the Wolverines’ last 13 games to clinch a spot in the NCAA tournament. He had the lowest goals-against average in the conference.

One of his most memorable experiences at Michigan was playing a period against a Russian team at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium, stopping 15 shots with the score tied 1-1. He came to the U.S. in 1955 to earn an engineering degree at Michigan. He then worked on his postgraduate studies in engineering, business administration and public administration at U-M and Wayne State in Detroit.

Upon completion of his studies, he immediately took employment as a county engineer with Washtenaw County. He continued in various positions with Washtenaw County and was appointed county administrator in Jan. 1970. He left county government and spent three years in the transportation industry as the assistant general manager, acting general manager and director of Southeastern Michigan Transportation Authority.

After leaving the Washtenaw County area, Childs became the county administrator for Grand Traverse County in 1976, holing the position until 2002, when he retired.

Under Childs’ watch, Grand Traverse County became one of the fastest-growing counties in the state and received recognition in many areas of public service on behalf of its employees. He was an administrator who recognized that being in charge of a diverse and growing county required close coordination with local public and private organizations.

Even after retiring, Childs’ work as a public servant continues to this day. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees for Northwestern Michigan College in Sept. 2001 to fill a term vacancy and was elected to a six-year term in 2002, 2008 and 2014.

With everything Childs had going on in Traverse City, hockey remained in his blood.

He coached the first Traverse City Central High School team and then stayed behind the bench coaching travel teams in the area. Even with 12 broken or replaced bones in his body and 137 stitches in his face, all from former athletic endeavors, Childs remains an advocate for all sports, especially U-M athletics and, specifically, Wolverine hockey.

The luncheon is slated for Friday, April 10, at 12:30 p.m. at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center, located at 400 Renaissance Dr W, Detroit, 48243.

Cost of the luncheon is $50, payable to the AHCA. Anyone interested in attending should contact Bruce Delventhal at [email protected].