UMass-Lowell's Bazin named recipient of Spencer Penrose Award as top coach
GLOUCESTER, Mass. -- Norm Bazin was named the recipient of the Spencer Penrose Award for Division I Men's Ice Hockey Coach of the Year, the American Hockey Coaches Association announced Wednesday.
Bazin, who has led UMass Lowell to a 28-10-2 record and the 2013 Frozen Four, will be honored on May 4 at the AHCA Convention in Naples, Fla.
The honor is the latest of several for Bazin in a stellar two years at UMass-Lowell. He received the Bob Kullen Award for Hockey East Coach of the Year -- for the second consecutive year -- on Mar. 21.
UMass-Lowell, seeded No. 2 in the Frozen Four, meets Yale on Thursday in the national semifinals.
Bazin is the second coach in UMass-Lowell history to earn the Spencer Penrose Award. Former head coach Bruce Crowder (1991-96), for whom Bazin played from 1991-94, was named the recipient in 1996.
“It's a tremendous honor when your peers nominate you for an award,” Bazin said at Wednesday's Frozen Four news conference. “I feel it's a coaching staff award, more than an individual coach award. So we're staffed like one of the top-tiered programs in the country. It's exciting and a tremendous honor.”
Assisting Bazin this season were Jason Lammers, Cam Ellsworth and Dan Darrow. They also will be recognized on May 4.
UMass-Lowell achieved a pair of firsts this season when it captured the Hockey East regular-season title in their final game, a 4-1 victory at Providence, and the Hockey East tournament championship with wins against Maine (4-2 and 2-1 in OT), Providence (2-1) and Boston University (1-0).
The River Hawks moved on to the Frozen Four with victories against Wisconsin (6-1) and New Hampshire (2-0) in the Northeast Regional in Manchester, N.H.
Since a Dec. 1 loss to New Hampshire, Bazin has guided UMass Lowell to a 24-3-1 record, including a seven-game win streak entering the Frozen Four. In his two years, Bazin is 52-23-3, the highest two-year win total of any coach in UMass-Lowell's Division I history.
Bazin's impact also has carried over to the classroom -- the team currently has a composite grade-point average of 3.096 as 15 players have maintained a cumulative GPA at or above a 3.000.
The River Hawks continue to leave their trademark in the community with their involvement in the Hockey Reading Program, in which players visit local elementary schools to read to students, as well as Team Impact, an organization which matches children with life-threatening illnesses with collegiate teams.
The runners-up for this year’s coach of the year award were Rand Pecknold of Quinnipiac and Bob Motzko of St. Cloud State. Their teams face off in the second Frozen Four semifinal.
The American Hockey Coaches Association contributed to this report.