March 21, 2012 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Bazin Named CHN Coach of the Year

CHN Staff Report

There were nine first-year head coaches in college hockey this season, and four made the NCAA Tournament. None, however, did what Massachusetts-Lowell's Norm Bazin did.

Heading back to his alma mater and getting his first job as a head coach in Division I, Bazin orchestrated the largest single-season turnaround in NCAA history, taking a 5-win team a year ago and going 23-12-1. This week the River Hawks will compete in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996.

Bazin was also named Hockey East coach of the year, and is a finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award.

Nine years ago, Bazin was an assistant coach at Colorado College, when he was hit head on by a drunk driver while on a recruiting trip. He had his aorta severed and nearly didn't make it. After a lengthy recovery, he slowly returned to coaching, and spent three years as head coach at Hamilton (D-III), turning that program around as well.

Bazin was part of last off-season's sweeping changes in college hockey. When Bazin was hired, he said, "Hockey's a fast game and changes happen that way too. College sports has changed all around in its recruiting, and the pressure to win."

He rose to that challenge and then some this year.

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