GLOUCESTER, Mass. – University of Denver head coach Jim Montgomery has been named the winner of the 2016-17 Spencer Penrose Award, which is presented annually to the AHCA/CCM Division I Men’s Hockey Coach of the Year, the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) announced Tuesday. Montgomery is the first National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) coach to earn the honor in the conference’s four-year history.
Montgomery led the Pioneers back to the NCAA Frozen Four for a second straight season after Denver won the NCAA Midwest Regional in Cincinnati. The fourth-year head coach at DU guided Denver to its first Penrose Cup as NCHC regular-season champions, compiling an 18-3-3-0/2 record in conference play with the 59 points tying for the most in NCHC history and the three losses the fewest ever in NCHC conference play. Overall, Montgomery has overseen the Pioneers post a 31-7-4 record with the 31 wins tops in the NCAA this season and the .786 win percentage second nationally. He coached DU to the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and picked up his 100th career victory in the regional championship March 26 at U.S. Bank Arena. The Pioneers have increased their win total each season under Montgomery.
Montgomery was the runner-up for the NCHC’s Herb Brooks Coach of the Year Award, which went to Western Michigan’s Andy Murray, who was also a finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award. Montgomery was named the College Hockey News Coach of the Year last week, as well.
The actual Spencer Penrose Award will be presented to Montgomery at the annual AHCA Coaches Banquet in Naples, Fla. on Wednesday evening, April 26.
The Spencer Penrose Award is named in memory of the Colorado Springs benefactor who built the Broadmoor Hotel Complex, site of the first 10 NCAA championship hockey tournaments. The NCHC’s regular-season trophy, the Penrose Cup, is also named after Spencer Penrose.
The AHCA Coach of the Year Awards are chosen by members of the American Hockey Coaches Association and sponsored by CCM Hockey. Montgomery was chosen among the 10 Penrose Award finalists named last Tuesday, which included Minnesota Duluth’s Scott Sandelin, along with Montgomery and Murray from the NCHC.
Montgomery leads the Pioneers into the national semifinals on Thursday, April 6 against Notre Dame at the United Center in Chicago, which is hosting the NCAA Frozen Four.
Fourth-year Denver head coach Jim Montgomery is the first NCHC coach to win the AHCA's Spencer Penrose Award.