Don Lucia is one of seven finalists for the 2011-12 Spencer Penrose Award.
Coach Don Lucia is one of seven finalists for the Spencer Penrose Award, given annually to the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Coach of the Year. Voting will be conducted prior to this year's Frozen Four and the winner will be announced on Friday, April 6 in Tampa, Fla.
Lucia led the resurgent Gophers to the MacNaughton Cup this year and his squad will play in the NCAA Frozen Four next week. The Gophers had previously missed the NCAA tournament the past three seasons and were picked to finish sixth this year in both the preseason coaches and media polls.
The Gophers, who have a combined 18 freshmen and sophomores on the roster, went 28-13-1 overall this year and 20-8-0 in WCHA play.
Lucia, who led Minnesota to national titles in 2002 and 2003, won the award in 1994 when he was at Colorado College. He is also a three-time WCHA Coach of the Year (1994, 1996 and 2006).
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. The actual award will be presented at the AHCA Coach of the Year Banquet in Naples, Florida, on Saturday evening, April 28. The AHCA Coach of the Year Awards are chosen by members of the American Hockey Coaches Association.
2011-12 AHCA Men's Ice Hockey Spencer Penrose Award Finalists
Norm Bazin, UMass-Lowell - Hockey East Coach of the Year
Rick Bennett, Union - ECAC Coach of the Year and NCAA Semifinalist
Bob Daniels, Ferris State - CCHA Coach of the Year and NCAA Semifinalist*
Don Lucia, Minnesota - NCAA Semifinalist*
Mel Pearson, Michigan Tech - WCHA Coach of the Year
Ryan Soderquist, Bentley College - Atlantic Hockey Coach of the Year
Jerry York, Boston College - NCAA Semifinalist*
* Past Spencer Penrose Award Winner