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(Note: Photo courtesy USCHO.com)
Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University men's ice hockey head coach Bob Daniels is among seven national finalists for the 2011-12 Spencer Penrose Award, giving annually to the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hokcey Coach of the Year.
This season, Daniels has guided Ferris State to its first-ever Frozen Four appearance with the Bulldogs set to face Union College in the national semifinals on Thursday, April 5, at 4:30 p.m. (ET) inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. FSU won both the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Regular-Season Championship and the NCAA Division I Midwest Regional crown this campaign.
Voting will be conducted prior to this year's Frozen Four and the winner will be announced on Friday, April 6, in Tampa, Fla. The nominees represent any coach who won or shared Coach of the Year honors in his conferencethis past season, along with coaches whose teams have advanced to the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey semifinals. Of this year's finalists, three were past recipients and two of those were honored at an institution other than their current home. Boston College coach Jerry York won in 1977 while at Clarkson; Minnesota coach Don Lucia won in 1994 while at Colorado College; and Ferris State's Bob Daniels won in 2003 while at FSU.
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 CoachesAssociation and sponsored by FlexxCoach, a leader in the creation and distribution of drills and general hockey instruction to coaches across the country.
Daniels previoulsy claimed CCHA Coach of the Year accolades for the second time in his career for his efforts in leading the Bulldogs this campaign.
Ferris State, picked to place ninth in the league in a preseason coaches poll, finished in first place for the second time in school history under Daniels' direction. The Bulldogs went on a 15-game unbeaten streak at the end of the regular season, vaulting them to No. 1 in the nation for the first time in program history. They received the program's second-ever NCAA Tournament berth this season and own a current 25-11-5 overall record under his guidance.
Daniels, the 2002-03 American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) Division I Hockey Coach of the Year and the all-time winningest coach in Ferris State University hockey history, is presently in his 20th year at FSU in the 2011-12 season.
Daniels previously earned recognition as the CCHA's unanimous choice for Coach of the Year honors in 2002-03 when Ferris State turned in its best season performance ever in the program's NCAA Division I history with a school-best 31-10-1 overall record. The Bulldogs also claimed their first-ever CCHA Regular-Season Championship title and advanced to the NCAA Championship Tournament's West Regional title game in their initial NCAA Tourney appearance.
More recently, Daniels was also tabbed as a finalist for CCHA Coach of the Year honors in both 2007-08 and 2009-10. He was also honored as the 2002-03 Coach of the Year by both Inside College Hockey (INCH) and the March of Dimes West Michigan Sports Awards. The crowning highlight in Daniels' coaching career occurred April 17, 2003, when he was selected the recipient of the 2003 Spencer Penrose Award as the AHCA's Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year.
Having the longest tenure of any FSU hockey coach, Daniels has coached eight All-Americans during his coaching career at Ferris, including 2002-03 Hobey Baker Hat Trick Award finalist and FSU's first-ever CCHA Player of the Year Chris Kunitz.
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