Michigan head coach Red Berenson is one of nine finalists for the 2008 Spencer Penrose Award, the American Hockey Coaches Association announced Monday.
The Penrose Award is given annually to the NCAA Division I men's ice hockey coach of the year. Finalists must either be voted Coach of the Year in their conference or take their team to the NCAA Frozen Four; Berenson qualifies for the award under both criteria.
The Wolverines advanced to their 10th Frozen Four in Berenson's 24-year career last weekend by defeating Niagara and Clarkson in the NCAA East Regional. On March 20, Berenson was named the 2008 CCHA Coach of the Year following U-M's unanticipated CCHA regular-season championship; Michigan was predicted to finish fourth in the league preseason polls. The Wolverines won the CCHA postseason title as well.
Michigan leads the nation in winning percentage and is tied for most wins with an overall record of 33-5-4. U-M has been the nation's top-ranked team for 13 of 25 weeks in 2007-08, including each of the last four. Michigan entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1-seeded team.
Berenson has never been honored with the Spencer Penrose Award despite heading into the 2007-08 campaign with a career record of 611-292-64 (.665), 10 seasons with 30 or more wins, 17 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, and nine NCAA Frozen Four berths. The only other U-M coach to win the award was Vic Heyliger in 1954.
The other eight finalists include Guy Gadowsky (Princeton), Dave Hakstol (North Dakota), Jeff Jackson (Notre Dame), Troy Jutting (Minnesota State), Brian Riley (Army), Tom Serratore (Bemidji State), Kevin Sneddon (Vermont) and Jerry York (Boston College).
The Spencer Penrose Award is named in honor of the former Colorado Springs benefactor who built the Broadmoor Hotel Complex, site of the first 10 NCAA Hockey Championships. It will be presented at the AHCA Coach of the Year Banquet on Saturday, April 26, in Naples, Fla.
Photo courtesy UM Photo Services