For his efforts in leading the Dutchmen of Union College to a first place regular season finish in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), Nate Leaman has been chosen the winner of the 2011 Spencer Penrose Award as Division I Men's Coach of the Year. Union set school records for overall wins (26) and conference wins (17) en route to the school's first Cleary Cup (ECAC regular season title) and first NCAA Division I tournament berth.
The Dutchmen went 14-1-1 in their final 16 regular season games to clinch the league title. Highlighting the season's accomplishments, Union led the nation in power play efficiency with a 29.5% success rate and the team defense, allowing just 2.10 goals per game, was second in the nation. The team allowed two or fewer goals in 24 of its games. Playing a key role in the latter statistic was sophomore goaltender Keith Kinkaid who was voted an Old Time Hockey First Team All American, just the second Union player to be so honored in the school's time in Division I.
Leaman recently completed his 8th season as head coach in Schenectady and in that time, has compiled an overall record of 138-127-35. His 138 wins are the most of any of the 14 head coaches in school history.
A 1997 graduate of SUNY Cortland, Leaman served as team captain in both his junior and senior years and graduated as one of the Top 20 scorers in school history. After a brief stint at the high school level, Leaman began his college coaching career with legendary University of Maine coach Shawn Walsh, serving with the 1998-99 Black Bear team that won the NCAA Championship.
From Orono, it was on to four years as a top assistant to Harvard University head coach Mark Mazzoleni, helping return the Crimson to the top of ECAC competition. His Union tenure began with the 2003-04 season and he has built upon success with each year. This season marked the fourth straight season in which the win total topped the previous year.
Assisting Leaman this season were Rick Bennett, Ben Barr and Jason Tapp.
The runner-up for this year's AHCA Men's Division I Coach of the Year award was Scott Sandelin of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, the 2004 recipient of this award.
The Spencer Penrose Award is named in memory of the Colorado Springs benefactor who built the Broadmoor Hotel Complex, site of the first ten NCAA championship hockey tournaments. It will be presented at the AHCA Coach of the Year Banquet in Naples, Florida, on Saturday evening, April 30.
Winners of the Spencer Penrose Award
(Division I Coach of the Year)
|1951||Edward Jeremiah, Dartmouth||1982||Ferny Flaman, Northeastern|
|1952||Cheddy Thompson, Colorado College||1983||Bill Cleary, Harvard|
|1953||John Mariucci, Minnesota||1984||Mike Sertich, Minnesota-Duluth|
|1954||Vic Heyliger, Michigan||1985||Len Ceglarski, Boston College|
|1955||Ralph "Cooney" Weiland, Harvard||1986||Ralph Backstrom, Denver|
|1956||William Harrison, Clarkson||1987||John "Gino" Gasparini, North Dakota|
|1957||Jack Riley, Army||1988||Frank Anzalone, Lake Superior|
|1958||Harry Cleverly, Boston University||1989||Joe Marsh, St. Lawrence|
|1959||John "Snooks" Kelley, Boston College||1990||Terry Slater, Colgate|
|1960||Jack Riley, Army||1991||Rick Comley, Northern Michigan|
|1961||Murray Armstrong, Denver||1992||Ron Mason, Michigan State|
|1962||Jack Kelley, Colby||1993||George Gwozdecky, Miami|
|1963||Tony Frasca, Colorado College||1994||Don Lucia, Colorado College|
|1964||Tom Eccleston, Jr., Providence||1995||Shawn Walsh, Maine|
|1965||Jim Fullerton, Brown||1996||Bruce Crowder, UMass Lowell|
|1966||Amo Bessone, Michigan State
Len Ceglarski, Clarkson
|1997||Dean Blais, North Dakota|
|1967||Edward Jeremiah, Dartmouth||1998||Tim Taylor, Yale|
|1968||Ned Harkness, Cornell||1999||Richard Umile, New Hampshire|
|1969||Charlie Holt, New Hampshire||2000||Joe Marsh, St. Lawrence|
|1970||John Maclnnes, Michigan Tech||2001||Dean Blais, North Dakota|
|1971||Ralph "Cooney" Weiland, Harvard||2002||Tim Whitehead, Maine|
|1972||John "Snooks" Kelley, Boston College||2003||Bob Daniels, Ferris State|
|1973||Len Ceglarski, Boston College||2004||Scott Sandelin, Minnesota-Duluth|
|1974||Charlie Holt, New Hampshire||2005||George Gwozdecky, Denver|
|1975||Jack Parker, Boston University||2006||Enrico Blasi, Miami|
|1976||John Maclnnes, Michigan Tech||2007||Jeff Jackson, Notre Dame|
|1977||Jerry York, Clarkson||2008||Red Berenson, Michigan|
|1978||Jack Parker, Boston University||2009||Jack Parker, Boston University|
|1979||Charlie Holt, New Hampshire||2010||Wayne Wilson, RIT|
|1980||Rick Comley, Northern Michigan||2011||Nate Leaman, Union|
|1981||Bill O'Flaherty, Clarkson|