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February 3, 2008 E-MAIL PRINT Bookmark and Share

Doug Woog Tops AHCA Awards List

CHN Staff Report

The American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) announced its annual awards winners, topped by former Minnesota Gophers coach Doug Woog.

Woog won the John MacInnes Award, established in 1982 to honor the former Michigan Tech coach. The award recognizes those people who have "shown a great concern for amateur hockey and youth programs. The recipients have had high winning percentages, as well as outstanding graduating percentages among their former players."

Woog guided the Gophers to an average of nearly 28 wins per season and seven league championships during his 14-year tenure (1985-1999). During this time, the Gophers made 12 NCAA appearances in 14 seasons, six NCAA Final Four appearances, and Woog became Minnesota's all-time winningest coach with a 389-187-40 record (.664).

Woog is a 1962 graduate of South St. Paul High School, where he garnered all-state hockey honors for three consecutive years and played in four Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournaments. Upon completion of his prep career, he attended the University of Minnesota and played under the legendary coach, John Mariucci. Woog led the Gophers in scoring and earned All-American honors his junior year (1965). He captained the Gophers his senior season and was named team Most Valuable Player.

After graduating from Minnesota, Woog played for the U.S. National Team, then became a high school coach. He is currently a color commentator on Fox Sports North broadcasts of Minnesota games.

The Terry Flanagan Award went to Dartmouth assistant coach Dave Peters. This award is named in honor of the former UNH player and Bowling Green assistant, honoring an assistant coach's body of work.

Dave Peters is in his ninth season at Dartmouth College, and has a reputation for being one of the most accomplished assistant coaches and recruiters in the country. Dartmouth has had an All-America forward in each of the last four seasons and in 2007 David Jones became Dartmouth's first Hobey Baker finalist. In 2004 Dartmouth had three players selected among the top 100 picks of the NHL draft, and in 2002-03 the Big Green had the highest scoring freshman class in the country.

From 1993-98, Peters was the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Providence. In his third season, Peters helped lead the Friars to the 1996 Hockey East Championship and a trip to the NCAA tournament. It marked the first and only time that Providence made back-to-back trips to the Hockey East finals.

The John Mariucci Award, given to a secondary school coach coach in memory of the "Godfather of Minnesota hockey," John Mariucci, went to Ray Pratt, the head coach at Lake Placid High School in New York.

Pratt was born and raised in Lake Placid, where he was a standout player. He attended St. Lawrence University and played hockey there for four years. In three of those years his team was an NCAA Final Four participant.

He returned to Lake Placid High School where he taught history and was head varsity hockey coach from 1964-76. After retirement from Lake Placid H.S. in 1976, Ray was appointed Sports Director of the 1980 Winter Olympic Committee. He was elected to the Lake Placid Hall of Fame in 1997.

In 2005 Ray was inducted into the New York State High School Ice Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Some of Pratt's former players include: Bill Beaney, head coach at Middlebury; Ed Seney, head coach at Saint Anselm; Jeff Beaney, head coach at Southern Maine; Tom Pratt, former head coach, New England College; Pete Sears, Oswego State Hall of Fame, 1972 US Olympic Hockey Team.

Charley Holden was named winner of the Jim Fullerton Award, named in honor of the former Brown University coach and AHCA spiritual leader. The award recognizes an "individual who loves the purity of our sport; (w)hether a coach, administrator, trainer, official, journalist or simply a fan."

A native of Melrose, Mass., Charley Holden was an outstanding player at Melrose High School, the Kent's Hill School and Norwich University, graduating from the latter in 1967. Following graduation, Holden was a Captain in the United States Army, seeing two years of active duty in Vietnam.

Along with a successful business career, Holden remained in the game as a referee, a supervisor, and the NCAA's first Coordinator of Officials. He officiated at the high school and college ranks.

John Russo won the John "Snooks" Kelley Founders Award, named after the former Boston College coach and given to those "who have contributed to the overall growth and development of the sport of ice hockey in the United States."

Russo founded the nation's best and most scouted midget league, the Upper Midwest High School Elite League. He also founded Russo Hockey Training Programs, which became the premier skill clinics in Minnesota, by utilizing innovative teaching techniques and emphasizing a coaching process rather than relying on any specific coach. And John Russo has essentially used diverse ways to freely distribute his considerable expertise and experience, writing a famed column for "Let's Play Hockey" newspaper and dispensing advice to coaches, parents and players who simply call on any given day.

From the 1970s to the 2000s, Russo was a head or assistant coach for: Iowa State University (1972-82/1983-85); Ames, Iowa Minor YHA, founder (1974–86); Prior Lake (Minn.) HS (1983); St. Louis Park (Minn.) HS (1987-89); Breck (Minn.) HS (1986-87/1989-90); Minneapolis South (Minn.) HS (1991-92); Farmington (Minn.) HS (1993-94); The Blake School (Minn.) (1995-2002).

Finally, Maurice FitzMaurice won the Joe Burke Award, presented to the person who has "given outstanding contribution, support, and dedication to women’s ice hockey."

FitzMaurice was noted for his role in the development of Women's hockey at the youth level nationally. In 1985, FitzMaurice's daughter Marnie wanted the opportunity to play ice hockey along with a couple of other young girls. He and a few other fathers organized a Pee Wee Girls program; this created the Connecticut Polar Bears. Since 1985 the only all girl's ice hockey program in Connecticut has grown to nine teams.

All of the awards will be presented at the AHCA Coach of the Year Banquet on the evening of April 26, except the Joe Burke Award, which will be presented at a special women’s coaches reception on April 23. Both events will take place at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club in Naples, Fla.

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