On Tuesday, the American Hockey Coaches Association announced that Notre Dame men’s hockey coach Jeff Jackson had won the 2018 Spencer Penrose Award as Division I Men’s Ice Hockey CCM/AHCA Coach of the Year. Jackson guided the Fighting Irish to Big Ten regular season and tournament titles, having previously won the award in 2007.
Ohio State’s Steve Rohlik was the honor’s runner-up after the Buckeyes (26-9-5) finished second to Notre Dame (27-9-2) in the regular season, and fell to ND in overtime, 3-2, in the B1G Tournament finals.
Rohlik took over as the head man in Columbus in the spring on 2013, after spending three seasons as the program’s associate head coach. Coming into this week’s national semifinals, he has a career record of 93-72-23, including the current campaign, the squad’s best in 20 years.
Coach Rohlik on first Frozen Four appearance since 1998: I’m proud of this program. It hasn’t happened over night, it’s been a long journey. This is for all of us. It’s not about me, it’s about this program and the guys on that bus. #GoBucks #FrozenFour pic.twitter.com/INtpErlK3n— Ohio State M Hockey (@OhioState_MHKY) April 3, 2018
Despite Jackson winning the national award, Rohlik was selected as the conference’s coach of the year last month. Both the Irish and the Buckeyes earned No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, with ND receiving the second overall seed, and OSU getting the fourth.
Jackson won two NCAA Division I titles at Lake Superior State in 1992 and 1994, before taking a decade off from coaching. He returned in 2005, taking over as the head coach at Notre Dame. He currently has a 477-228-79 record in his 19 seasons.
Jackson will look to add to his resume this weekend as his Irish take on Michigan in the nightcap of the Frozen Four on Thursday, April 5 at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Rohlik and the Buckeyes will face off against Minnesota Duluth in the opening game at 6:00 p.m. ET. Both contests will be broadcast on ESPN2. The Division I national championship game will take place on Saturday from Saint Paul, MN’s Xcel Energy Center at 7:30 p.m. ET, and will air on ESPN.
Land-Grant Holy Land will have coverage of the Frozen Four throughout the remainder of the week. Congratulations to Coach Rohlik, and good luck to the team in the Twin Cities.