For leading his team into the NCAA Women's Division III semifinals with a 25-1-2 record, Tom Palkowski of the University of St. Thomas has been chosen by his peers as the 2019 CCM/AHCA Women's Division III Coach of the Year. It is the first such honor for Palkowski, St. Thomas and the MIAC.
Palkowski and the Tommies will take on a familiar foe when they meet Hamline in a 7:00 NCAA semifinal on Friday night. The two schools met in the MIAC championship game on March 2 with St. Thomas prevailing by a 2-0 score.
This was a record-setting season for St. Thomas who earned a No. 1 in the country ranking for the first time and also won 25 games for the first time. The Tommies played near-perfect hockey in the MIAC Tournament, starting with a 4-0 win over Gustavus Adolphus in the semifinals before sealing the title with the 2-0 blanking of Hamline.
Palkowski is completing his 12th season at the helm of the Tommies and his 31st overall as a hockey coach. Prior to succeeding Kevin Gorg as St. Thomas head coach, he served two decades as an assistant coach at both the high school and collegiate levels, his last assisting role being with Coach Gorg. His career record with one weekend left in this dream season is 202-85-36 (.681).
A native of Columbia Heights, MN, Palkowski played one year of college hockey at Illinois-Chicago before completing three seasons at St. Thomas. Despite only playing three full seasons, Palkowski totalled168 points (71-97), still good for seventh on the school's all-time scoring list.
Palkowski was assisted this season by Kristi King, Marty Sertich and Drew Fielding. The runner-up for this year's award was Meghan Gillis of Williams College.
The CCM AHCA COACH of the YEAR AWARDS are sponsored by CCM HOCKEY and chosen by members of the AMERICAN HOCKEY COACHES ASSOCIATION. CCM is the legendary hockey brand dedicated to the endless pursuit of performance by delivering game-changing, head-to-toe innovative hockey equipment to players worldwide. Bolding will receive his award at the annual AHCA Celebration of Women's Ice Hockey Banquet, scheduled for Friday, May 3, during the AHCA Convention in Naples, FL.
Winners of the Women's Division III Coach of the Year Award
|2000||Ted Wisner, Colgate||2010||Mark Bolding, Norwich|
|2001||Bill Mandigo, Middlebury||2011||Mark Bolding, Norwich|
|2002||Jamie Wood, Elmira||2012||Mark Bolding, Norwich|
|2003||Michele Amidon, Bowdoin||2013||Kevin Houle, Plattsburgh State|
|2004||Bill Mandigo, Middlebury||2014||Kevin Houle, Plattsburgh State|
|2005||Bill Mandigo, Middlebury||2015||Dean Jackson, Elmira|
|2006||Kevin Houle, Plattsburgh State||2016||Kevin Houle, Plattsburgh State|
|2007||Kevin Houle, Plattsburgh State||2017||Chad Davis, Adrian College|
|2008||Kevin Houle, Plattsburgh State||2018||Mark Bolding, Norwich|
|2009||Jim Plumer. Amherst College||2019||Tom Palkowski, St. Thomas|