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April 9, 2014
Rick Bennett of Union College Named STX/AHCA Men's Division I Coach of the Year
Will Receive Spencer Penrose Award at AHCA Convention on May 3 in Naples, FL
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For his efforts in leading Union College to its third straight ECAC title and into the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey "Frozen Four," Rick Bennett has been chosen winner of the 2014 Spencer Penrose Award as Division I Men's Ice Hockey STX/AHCA Coach of the Year. He will receive his award on Saturday evening, May 3, during the American Hockey Coaches Association annual convention in Naples, FL.

Entering Thursday evening's semifinal contest vs. Boston College, Bennett's Dutchmen have compiled an overall record of 30-6-4, capturing both the ECAC Hockey regular season and tournament titles along the way. Union advanced to the Frozen Four by defeating Vermont (5-2) and Providence (3-1) to win the NCAA East Regional in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The Dutchmen enter the Frozen Four on a 15-game unbeaten streak (14-0-1), the longest in the nation. Their last loss came on January 31.

In three seasons in Schenectady, Bennett has compiled a record of 78-27-16 (.711) A year ago, Union finished with a record of 22- 13-5, clinching its fourth straight 20-win season. The Dutchmen, who successfully defended their ECAC Tournament title, earned their third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament in the Division I era.

In 2011-12, Bennett's first year as head coach, Union earned its first ever trip to the Frozen Four, with wins over UMass-Lowell and Michigan State in the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament. Union earned its first ever Whitelaw Cup as ECAC Hockey Tournament champions and its second consecutive Cleary Cup, capturing the ECAC Hockey regular-season title. Union (26-8-7, 14-4-4 ECAC Hockey) finished the season at No. 3 in the national polls, the highest ranking in program history. Bennett recorded the most wins by a Union head coach in his first season, and is the only Union coach to record 20 wins in his debut year.

Coach Bennett was introduced as Union's fifth head coach in the Division I era on April 20, 2011, following six years as an assistant for the Dutchmen, which began after five years as an assistant at Providence College, his alma mater.

Bennett was named to the Providence College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012. He enjoyed a standout career as a student-athlete at Providence, where he was best recognized for his versatility. In his years at PC, the powerful left wing played center, played defense, played on the power play and killed penalties. The culmination of years of hard work and dedication led Bennett to be a 1990 Hobey Baker Finalist. A former Friar co-captain, Bennett earned Second Team All-Hockey East honors in 1990. In 1987, he was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team. He was a two-time winner of the Lamoriello Trophy as Team MVP for Providence. In 1989, he tallied 46 points and was named Second Team All-American. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in general studies.

Bennett was a third round draft pick of the Minnesota North Stars in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft and was traded to the New York Rangers his junior year at Providence. From 1990-93, he played for the Binghamton Rangers of the AHL and saw action in 15 games for the New York Rangers. After leaving Binghamton, he spent two seasons with the Springfield Indians of the AHL and played his final four seasons of professional hockey (1995-99) for the Jacksonville Lizard Kings (ECHL) and the Pee Dee Pride (ECHL). In addition to playing for the Lizard Kings and the Pride, Bennett also served as an assistant coach for each team for four years.

Assisting Bennett this season were Jason Tapp, Joe Dumais and John Ronan. The runner-up for this year's AHCA Men's Division I Coach of the Year award was Bob Daniels of Ferris State College.

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. All AHCA Coach of the Year awards are selected by the head coaches in each division and are sponsored by STX.

STX is a global sporting goods leader in the sports of lacrosse, field hockey, golf, and hockey. With its 1970 introduction of the first synthetic lacrosse head, STX ushered in the "modern era" of what is now the fastest growing team sport. Based in Baltimore, the home of lacrosse, STX has been universally recognized for innovation in product design and development. STX continues to strive for new performance standards in sporting goods equipment at the highest levels of competition. For more information, visit http://www.stx.com.

Winners of the Spencer Penrose Award
(Division I Coach of the Year)
1951 Edward Jeremiah, Dartmouth   1983 Bill Cleary, Harvard
1952 Cheddy Thompson, Colorado College   1984 Mike Sertich, Minnesota-Duluth
1953 John Mariucci, Minnesota   1985 Len Ceglarski, Boston College
1954 Vic Heyliger, Michigan   1986 Ralph Backstrom, Denver
1955 Ralph "Cooney" Weiland, Harvard   1987 John "Gino" Gasparini, North Dakota
1956 William Harrison, Clarkson   1988 Frank Anzalone, Lake Superior
1957 Jack Riley, Army   1989 Joe Marsh, St. Lawrence
1958 Harry Cleverly, Boston University   1990 Terry Slater, Colgate
1959 John "Snooks" Kelley, Boston College   1991 Rick Comley, Northern Michigan
1960 Jack Riley, Army   1992 Ron Mason, Michigan State
1961 Murray Armstrong, Denver   1993 George Gwozdecky, Miami
1962 Jack Kelley, Colby   1994 Don Lucia, Colorado College
1963 Tony Frasca, Colorado College   1995 Shawn Walsh, Maine
1964 Tom Eccleston, Jr., Providence   1996 Bruce Crowder, UMass Lowell
1965 Jim Fullerton, Brown   1997 Dean Blais, North Dakota
1966 Amo Bessone, Michigan State
Len Ceglarski, Clarkson
  1998 Tim Taylor, Yale
1967 Edward Jeremiah, Dartmouth   1999 Richard Umile, New Hampshire
1968 Ned Harkness, Cornell   2000 Joe Marsh, St. Lawrence
1969 Charlie Holt, New Hampshire   2001 Dean Blais, North Dakota
1970 John Maclnnes, Michigan Tech   2002 Tim Whitehead, Maine
1971 Ralph "Cooney" Weiland, Harvard   2003 Bob Daniels, Ferris State
1972 John "Snooks" Kelley, Boston College   2004 Scott Sandelin, Minnesota-Duluth
1973 Len Ceglarski, Boston College   2005 George Gwozdecky, Denver
1974 Charlie Holt, New Hampshire   2006 Enrico Blasi, Miami
1975 Jack Parker, Boston University   2007 Jeff Jackson, Notre Dame
1976 John Maclnnes, Michigan Tech   2008 Red Berenson, Michigan
1977 Jerry York, Clarkson   2009 Jack Parker, Boston University
1978 Jack Parker, Boston University   2010 Wayne Wilson, RIT
1979 Charlie Holt, New Hampshire   2011 Nate Leaman, Union
1980 Rick Comley, Northern Michigan   2012 Bob Daniels, Ferris State
1981 Bill O'Flaherty, Clarkson   2013 Norm Bazin, UMass Lowell
1982 Ferny Flaman, Northeastern   2014 Rick Bennett, Union