Jared Pike Of American International Is 2020 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award Winner

Senior forward Jared Pike (Sandy, UT) of the American International College ice hockey team has been named the winner of the 2019-20 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award, the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) announced on today.

The award was established by the HCA in honor of former Army player Derek Hines, who was a "consummate team player and team builder." Hines played at Army from 1999-2003 and was a four-year latter-winner as well as a co-captain his senior season. He was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 1, 2005 in Afghanistan.

Said Pike, "It's an honor to receive such a prestigious award. Derek Hines was a champion at the game of life. Winning this award is a reflection of AIC Hockey and the culture we have built at this program. Again, I'm completely humbled to receive this award and all that it represents."

AIC Head Coach Eric Lang, who spent four seasons as an assistant coach at West Point, felt that Pike was an outstanding choice for this award.

"I couldn't think of a better recipient than Jared Pike for the Derek Hines Award," Lang said. "Having been around the Army West Point community and knowing, from a distance, all that Derek Hines stood for, Jared is the type of person that will make the Hines family proud. Jared encompasses team first, accountability, and commitment in every facet of his life. This is, in my opinion, one of the most prestigious awards in all of college sports. We are very proud of Jared and honored as a program."

Pike, a four-year letterwinner for AIC, was part of the first recruiting class in Lang's tenure at AIC. In his 144-game career, he scored 29 goals and added 15 assists for 44 points while providing strong physical play at both ends of the ice and an unmatched work ethic in games and practice.

That ethic continued in the community and classroom. Pike was part of a number of community service initiatives in his tenure at AIC, and additionally has been named an Krampade/American Hockey Coaches Association All-American Scholar in each of his first three seasons for which the award has been given.

The connection between Pike's commitment and discipline in all aspects of his life and the increased success of AIC's program in the last four seasons was not lost on the team's associate head coach Stephen Wiedler, who directly recruited Pike to AIC.

"Jared Pike epitomizes everything the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award embodies," Wiedler commented. "Time and time again Jared has raised the standard of what it means to be an AIC Yellow Jacket through his competitive fire, accountability, and team-first mentality. We are very proud of Jared for winning this distinguished award."

Pike is the first Yellow Jacket and fifth player from the Atlantic Hockey Association to win the award since its inception. The other finalists for this year's award were Brutus Ghafari, SR, D, Michigan State (Big Ten); Wyatt Newpower, SR, D, Connecticut (Hockey East); Edwin Hookenson, SR, D, Minnesota State (WCHA); Will Hammer, JR, F, St. Cloud State (NCHC); T.J. Samec, SR, D, RPI (ECAC Hockey).

The HCA coordinates the award, with nominations from each of the six Division I men's hockey conferences. The selection committee, made up of the six conference media contacts, Lt. Steve Hines, Derek's father, and Army West Point head coach Brian Riley, vote on the winner "who displays exemplary sportsmanship, is supremely competitive, intelligent and extraordinarily conditioned with an unmatched work ethic."

Recipients of the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award

Year - Recipient/Class/Position/Institution
2007 - Dan Shribman, SR, Forward, Dartmouth College
2008 - Chase Podsiad, SR, Defenseman, Army West Point
2009 - Mike Phillipich, SR, Forward, U.S. Air Force Academy
2010 - Jordan Pietrus, SR, Forward, Brown University
2011 - Kyle Schmidt, SR, Forward, University of Minnesota-Duluth
2012 - Bobby Farnham, SR, Forward, Brown University
2013 - Kyle Murphy, SR, Forward, Providence College
2014 - Brice O'Connor, SR, Defenseman, University of Maine
2015 - P.J. Musico, SR, Goaltender, Penn State University
2016 - Matt Vidal, SR, Forward, College of the Holy Cross
2017 - Aidan Cavallini, SR. Forward, University of Wisconsin
2018 - Dylan Abood, SR, Defenseman, U.S. Air Force Academy
2019 - Brendon Kearney, SR, Forward, The Ohio State University
2020 - Jared Pike, SR, Forward, American International College