The American Hockey Coaches Association was formed in May of 1947 in Boston, MA, by a handful of college coaches concerned about the game they loved. It has grown to include professional, junior, high school, and youth hockey coaches, as well as referees, administrators, sales representatives, journalists, and fans. It is open to men and women alike. Perhaps the best way to understand the AHCA is to read its formal goals, as written in the AHCA Constitution:
The object of this Association shall be:
- To help maintain the highest possible standards in hockey and the hockey profession.
- To discuss matters of mutual interest.
- To submit to the proper organizations, suggestions for the improvement of hockey.
- To discuss various phases of hockey.
- To place at the disposal of coaches sources of hockey information.
- To work together for the improvement of conditions in American hockey.
- To have a representative group of hockey people before whom hockey problems of general interest may be discussed and to whom others may be referred for the friendly interchange of ideas.
- To establish good fellowship and social contact.
- To maintain high educational standards when coaching the game of ice hockey
What Does The AHCA Do?
To reach its stated goals, the AHCA is led by a slate of Officers and a Board of Governors, elected by the AHCA membership. In addition, the following Standing Committees assist in the identification and implementation of projects for the association. The committees are:
- Awards Committee
- Convention Planning Committee
- Ethics Committee (Executive Committee)
- High School-Professional Committee
- Legislative Committee
- Rules Recommendation
- Committee Sponsorship-Liaison Committee
- Women's Committee
Through this structure, the AHCA will
- honor both its post and present, through awards recognizing individuals and teams who have achieved a unique place in the game.
- shape the on-ice playing rules used by the NCAA.
- encourage sportsmanship through its 'Code of Conduct' for coaches and athletes.
- share information on coaching and training strategies and methods.
- assist the NCAA and college hockey conference commissioners in promoting the game.
- provide a forum for the exchange of ideas on hockey, through regular publications during the hockey season and through clinics for coaches, as well as the annual AHCA Convention in the spring.
Is The AHCA Only Dedicated To The Game of College Hockey?
No. The roots of the AHCA can be found in college hockey and a good deal of its structure and agenda are college-hockey based. But anyone involved in the game of hockey can - and should - be a member of the AHCA. With the re-writing of the AHCA Constitution in 1997, the AHCA recognized non-college coaches and personnel in a more formal way, making it easier for everyone to get involved.
How Does The AHCA Honor The Game of College Ice Hockey?
The AHCA annually recognizes a variety of individuals for their on-ice performance or their dedication to the game:
- The CCM All-American Teams - Division I and III for both men and women
- The Spencer Penrose Award to the University Division Coach of the Year
- The Edward Jeremiah Award to the College Division Coach of the Year
- The Sid Watson Award for the Division III Men's Player of the Year
- The Laura Hurd Award for the Division III Women's Player of the Year
- The John Mariucci Award to a secondary school coach
- The John 'Snooks' Kelley Founders Award to a contributor to hockey in the United States
- The John Macinnes Award to a coach who has been successful in winning games and graduating student-athletes
- The Jim Fullerton Award to any member of the hockey community, coach or otherwise, who believes in and fosters the purity of the game
- The Terry Flanagan Award which honors an assistant coach's career body of work
- The Lou Lamoriello Award given by the Retired Coaches group within the AHCA to honor a former college coach or player who has distinguished himself in his profession after college
- The Joe Burke Award to honor those individuals who have shown great support and dedication to Girls/Women's hockey
- The Women's Ice Hockey Founders Award to honor a member of the hockey community or college coaching profession who has contributed to the overall growth and development of the sport of women's ice hockey
- The Women's Ice Hockey Assistant Coach Award to honor the career body of work of an assistant coach in women's ice hockey.