January 14, 2016
2016 AHCA Major Awards Are Announced
Bill Beaney, Bill Wilkinson and Heather Linstad Head List of Eight Honorees

Click here to view all past winners of these awards

The American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) has announced its major awards for 2016. Eight individuals who have made unique contributions to amateur hockey in the United States will be recognized during the 2016 AHCA Convention in Naples, Florida, the men's hockey honorees being recognized on Wednesday, April 27, and the women's hockey award recipients feted on Friday, April 29.

Heading the list of award winners is former Middlebury College head coach Bill Beaney, winner of 602 games and eight national championships during a 28-year career at Middlebury. Beaney will receive the John MacInnes Award. Also being recognized are Bill Wilkinson, a former head coach at Western Michigan University and Wayne State University, who will receive the John "Snooks" Kelley Founders Award, and Heather Linstad, former University of Connecticut and Northeastern University head coach, who will be presented the Women's Hockey Founders Award.

All awards will be presented at two dinners taking place at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club in Naples, Florida. Here is a detailed look at each of the eight awards and their recipients.

This year's recipients are:

THE JOHN MACINNES AWARD: Established by the AHCA in 1982 to honor former Michigan Tech coach, John MacInnes, this 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. The winners of this award have helped young men grow not only as hockey players, but more importantly, as men.

photo2016 Recipient: Bill Beaney

Bill retired from Middlebury College as the men's ice hockey coach at Middlebury College following the 2014-15 season. The Panthers' head coach for 28 years - and 35 total in coaching at the college and high school level - he had a career record of 602-260-59 in his time coaching at New England College and Middlebury. His teams won eight NCAA championships, including five in a row from 1995-99, with three additional titles from 2004-06, and one ECAC East Championship (1990-91). The team also qualified for 13 consecutive NCAA tournaments from 1995-2007.

He was selected as the New England Coach of the Year in 1989,1991,1995, and 2006. He also earned the Edward Jeremiah Award as the National Coach of the Year in 1990, 1995,2004, and 2006. He was named the USOC National Hockey Coach oftheTear in 1998-99. He also served on the NCAA Division III ice hockey selection committee for six years.

Beaney was also heavily involved with USA Hockey. He served as the head coach of the U.S. Women's Junior National team in 1996 and 1997. From 1985-97, Beaney coached USA Hockey's Junior Olympic team, while serving as an assistant coach for the 1994 U.S. Junior National team. In the summer of 1993, Beaney served as the head coach of the gold medal East Team at the Olympic Festival in San Antonio. Further, he was recently named to the Olympic Region Development Authority's board of directors in his hometown of Lake Placid, NY.

Said his former player and successor as Middlebury head coach, Neil Sinclair, "Bill is respected as a teacher of the game and mentor for his student-athletes. He has made a lasting impression on the game with the Middlebury style of play and his early advocacy of using small games, now commonplace across the country." Beaney remains on the faculty at Middlebury coaching golf and teaching classes.

THE JOHN "SNOOKS" KELLEY FOUNDERS AWARD: Named after the famed Boston College coach, this award honors those people in the coaching profession who have contributed to the overall growth and development of the sport of ice hockey in the United States.

photo2016 Recipient: Bill Wilkinson

Bill Wilkinson, a successful NCAA head coach for nearly three decades after playing four years year of U.S. college hockey, is the 2016 recipient of the John "Snooks" Kelley Founders Award. Diminutive in stature, "Wilkie" opted for a hockey scholarship at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY after his three years with the Goderich Siftos. Following three years of NCAA hockey where he compiled 30 goals and 66 assists in 75 games points (1967-70), and a year teaching high school, Wilkinson returned to Canton to coach the St. Lawrence freshman team to an undefeated season.

He landed his first head coaching job at Western Michigan in 1982 after working as an assistant at St. Lawrence, North Dakota and Bowling Green. In 17 seasons with the Broncos, he compiled a record of313-301- 53. He moved on to Wayne State University, winning another 124 games in nine seasons. In all, Wilkinson's 26- year head coaching career resulted in a mark of 437-301-81.

At the time of his retirement in 2008, his 437 wins ranked him 25'h among all the coaches who had ever coached in the NCAA, Division I, II or III. His best season came in 1985-86 when Western won 32 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

Following the Wayne State experience, Wilkinson accepted an opportunity in Jaca, Spain to coach at a senior level, moving himself and his wife, Mary, to the Pyrenees region of Spain near the border of France. The Wilkinsons lived in Jaca for six months of the year as the team competed in a 24-game schedule followed by a tournament playoff structure for the Continental Cup that featured champions from various leagues.

Wilkinson was able to build a team that won numerous championships over a two-year period with some of the players under his tutelage earning spots on the country's national team. After three years in Spain, he took a six-month coaching position in Melbourne, Australia, although he initially mistook the caller making the job offer to be from Melfort, Saskatchewan and wondered to himself "Why the hell would I coach in Melfort," before being corrected by the recruiter.

Following his international experiences, his hockey journey brought him home to Goderich, Ontario, where he began as a player, but this time as a recruiter for the Goderich Jr. C Sailors hockey team.

THE JIM FULLERTON AWARD: Named in honor of the former Brown University hockey coach and AHCA spiritual leader, this award recognizes an individual who loves the purity of our sport. Whether a coach, administrator, trainer, official, journalist or simply a fan, the recipient exemplifies Jim Fullerton, who gave as much as he received and never stopped caring about the direction in which our game was heading.

2016 Recipient: David P. Carrier, MA, AT, ATC, HOF

Dave Carrier has looked after the healthcare and well being of hockey players for the past 37 years, five at Ferris State University and 32 with the Michigan State Spartans hockey program. He was promoted to Associate Head Athletic Trainer in the Athletics Department in the summer of 2013.

In June 2015, Carrier was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame. He is the third athletic trainer currently at MSU to be elected to the NAT A Hall of Fame, alongside head athletic trainer Dr. Sally Nogle and Dr. John Powell. He is the eighth trainer to have worked at MSU to be voted into the hall. A certified member of the NAT A, he came to MSU from Ferris State where he served as assistant coordinator of sports medicine for five years. He received a bachelor's of science degree in physical education from Ferris in 1979 and a master's degree in athletic training from Central Michigan in 1983.

Said long-time Michigan State assistant coach Tom Newton upon nominating Carrier, "Obviously Dave is a much-decorated trainer. It does not begin to tell the story of his dedication to his hockey players and to the sport. Many careers have lasted longer due to his talents and his knowledge. Dave not only takes care of players' injuries, he has made a huge difference in many players lives with counseling and advise during their years of college. His care for his players literally runs the length of their careers and longer in some cases."

Carrier's long and distinguished career makes him not only one of the longest-tenured, but most respected athletic trainers in college hockey. In 2005, Carrier received the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award at the NATA convention and was inducted into the Michigan Athletics Trainers Hall of Fame. The 1992 Jack Breslin Distinguished Staff A ward winner has served as President of the Michigan Athletic Trainers Society. In 1990, he served as the head athletic trainer for the U.S. Hockey Team at the World Championship in Bern, Switzerland. Carrier spent four weeks working with ski jumpers and Nordic track athletes at the 1992 Winter Olympics and in 1988 served as athletic trainer of the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. He also worked at U.S. Olympic Festivals in Houston in 1986 and North Carolina in 1987 and at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in 1985.

He was a 1997 Michigan Athletic Trainers Distinguished Award winner and in 1998 earned the Service Award from the National Athletic Trainers Association for his dedication and contributions to the profession. Also in 1998, Carrier earned the Research and Education Foundation's inaugural Volunteer of the Year Award and was named an honorary member of the MSU Varsity S Club. Most recently, Carrier, along with MSU colleagues Dr. John Powell and fellow Certified Athletic Trainer Sally Nogle, were honored by the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers' Association (GLAT A) with its Outstanding Educator Award in the spring of 2012.

Dave's manual medicine skills have placed him at the cutting edge in the profession in his approach to prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of structural injuries. He has treated many professional athletes from around the world and has shared his knowledge about osteopathic manual medicine with more than five hundred athletic trainers from the professional, college and high school ranks.

Carrier served in the United States Army from 1971-1973. He was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, where he earned the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service.

TERRY FLANAGAN AWARD: Named in honor of the former UNH player and Bowling Green Assistant, this award honors an assistant coach's career body of work.

photo2016 Recipient: Mike Gibbons

St. Cloud State assistant coach Mike Gibbons has distinguished himself as an assistant coach everywhere he has gone. And in NCAA Hockey, that includes Bemidji State, Northern Michigan, Colorado College, Denver and St. Cloud State, where he currently works. All of this came after an outstanding career at Bemidji where he was a four-year letter-winner, a two-time All American defenseman and captain of the 1978-79 squad that won the NCAA Championship.

His coaching career began at BSU in 1981 when he took a job as an assistant coach to Bob Peters and then followed Bob as head coach for the 1982-83 season. His one year as a head coach was one to remember as the Beavers won 30 games for the first time and again advanced to the NCAA title game. For his efforts, Mike was named the winner of the Edward Jeremiah Award as Division III National Coach of the Year.

His coaching career was just beginning and he then launched a series of successful stints at numerous stops. In order: an assistant to Rick Comley at Northern Michigan for five years; an assistant to Brad Buetow at Colorado College for two years; an assistant to Frank Serratore at Denver for four years; the head coach of the Langley (BC) Thunder of the BCJHL; an assistant with the Baltimore Bandits of the AHL for one season, working alongside current NMU coach Walt Kyle; head coach at Eastview High School in Apple Valley, MN, for 10 years; assistant coach to Bob Motzko at St. Cloud State since 2007, helping SCSU to the Frozen Four in 2015 and to consistently high national rankings.

In addition to his initial BS degree in Business Administration from Bemidji State 1982, Gibbons also earned a BS in Physical Education in 1981 and a Masters in Physical Education in 1989, all from BSU.

THE JOHN MARIUCCI AWARD: John Mariucci, the former coach of the University of Minnesota, was not only an outstanding college coach, but also a driving force behind the growth of hockey in the United States. In 1987, the AHCA created this award to honor a secondary school association coach who best exemplifies the spirit, dedication and enthusiasm of the "GODFATHER OF U.S. HOCKEY," John Mariucci.

2016 Recipient: Bill O'Neil

Bill O'Neil's record as a high school hockey coach is unique in both its level of success and its longevity. It would be worthy of recognition if it constituted the whole of his coaching bio. But it is only part of it. As a high school hockey coach at the Northwood School in Lake Placid, NY, and at Essex High School in Vermont, O'Neil's record covers five decades and well over 700 wins. At Northwood, he coached ice hockey for seven years and at Essex, it is 43 years and counting (50 years total), and his win total there is 608 with 14 state championships.

But that's just hockey. He coached baseball and soccer at Northwood and at Essex, here is the tally: JV boys' soccer for six years, freshman softball for eight years, varsity girls soccer for 36 years, and varsity softball for 24 years. And he didn't just coach, he coached champions. Four state titles in softball, six in soccer and 14 in ice hockey.

A native of Lake Placid who attended Northwood and later played soccer and hockey at Norwich, O'Neil remains a successful coach as he approaches his mid-70's. When asked by the Burlington Free Press about what keeps him going, O'Neil said, "It's the game; it's the kids. This is a way of life. I love the game and if the kids ask me what your favorite sport is, I always say, 'it depends on the season.' It's fun to bring them along, to teach them. It's ce11ainly frustrating at times, but there are just so many rewards that it's still exciting for me to do this."

THE JOE BURKE AWARD: Presented annually to the person who has given outstanding contribution, support, and dedication to women's ice hockey." It is named in honor of a girls' and women's hockey "superfan," Joe Burke.

2016 Recipient: Bob Ewell

Bob Ewell, a 1971 graduate of Colby College, took over the women's hockey program at his alma mater in 1978. Also serving as a football assistant coach and men's lacrosse head coach, he had no experience coaching women at any level. He embraced the challenge and quickly became one of the game's leaders.

Colby was one of women's hockey's flagship programs at the time - it was the third varsity program in the country, following Brown and Cornell. Bob's dedication helped maintain Colby's status. He fought for equal practice time for the women's program at a time when few - if any - other schools were granting it.

In 1985, Bob left Colby for Princeton, taking over that program from Bill Quackenbush. His six Princeton teams were competitive in the Ivy League and he continued to help the sport off the ice. In his final season, 1990- 91, Bob mobilized community and off-campus support, including help from the Women's Sports Foundation, to maintain the program in the face of a proposal from university administrators to drop its varsity status.

Meanwhile, he brought in a recruiting class that led Princeton to the Ivy League title the next season. Bob served in a number of leadership positions during his coaching career. He was the chair of the selection committee for the very first EIAIW championship in 1979 while at Colby. Later, at Princeton, he chaired the first women's hockey coaches' association that predated the group's affiliation with the AHCA.

He coached several of the great women's players of the pre-Olympic era, including Lee Johnson and Alicia Curtain at Colby, and Patty Kazmaier and Mollie Marcoux at Princeton. He also mentored a number-of assistant coaches through the years, most notably Laura Halldorson and Lisa Brown-Miller during his time at Princeton, current Vermont coach Jim Plumer, who was a Colby assistant, and current Dartmouth head coach Mark Hudak, who helped Ewell at New Hampton.

Bob's contributions to the game continued following his college coaching career. Although he left Princeton to take over the men's team at New Hampton School, he gravitated back to women's hockey. He coached the New Hampton girls program to two New England prep school championships, sending several players on to play in college. One of those was his daughter, Emily, who played for Michelle Amidon at Bowdoin.

His overall coaching record at Colby and Princeton was 129 wins, 115 losses, and 10 ties. But his contribution to the development and growth of women's ice hockey in its early days was his largest measure of success.

THE WOMEN'S ICE HOCKEY FOUNDERS AWARD This award honors a member of the hockey community or college coaching profession who has contributed to the overall growth and development of the sport of women's ice hockey in the United States through their enthusiasm, passion and selflessness.

photo2016 Recipient: Heather Linstad

In recognition of a 21-year coaching career and, perhaps more significantly, her pioneering efforts to advance women's ice hockey, Heather Linstad is the recipient of this year's Founders Award. At the helm of the University of Connecticut women's ice hockey program since its inception through the 2012-2013 season, Linstad guided the Huskies to a 161-218-54 record during her 13 seasons behind the bench. Linstad led the Huskies to eight Hockey East tournament appearances over her past 11 seasons, including WHEA Championship appearances in 2005 and 2010.

"Heather is one of the true pioneers of women's college hockey," said Boston University head coach Brian Durocher. "She has been a leader, a coach, a developer and a passionate supporter of the sport."

A native of Chelmsford, Mass., Linstad came to Connecticut after compiling a 161-71-27 overall record at the helm of the Northeastern University women's ice hockey team for eight seasons. While at Northeastern, Linstad guided those Huskies to four Beanpot titles and earned one of the four berths to the first-ever collegiate Women's Ice Hockey National Championship Tournament (A WCHA) in 1998. Before that, Linstad guided Northeastern to the ECAC Championship in 1997 while boasting a then-school-record 27 wins.

Beyond the 322 career wins, Linstad pushed for equal treatment for women's ice hockey and was particularly influential in opening up the AHCA to women's coaches. Along with Digit Murphy and Kelly Dyer, Linstad was among the first females to attend the annual AHCA convention and to lobby for equal treatment for women's coaches.

When she retired, her career record of 322-289-81 ranked her sixth on the all-time NCAA wins list for women. In addition to her college coaching, she was also involved at the international level for many years . In January 2012, Linstad served as the head coach of the U.S. Women's National Under-18 team at the IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic. She began working with the squad during the USA Hockey Women's National Festival in June of 2011. Linstad also coached at the USA National Hockey Festival in Lake Placid, N.Y. five times, including the 1997 Festival, which was an Olympic selection year. Linstad also served as the head coach of the Australian National Team in Sydney in 1996.

A 1989 graduate of Providence College, Linstad earned a degree in business administration while representing the Friars in three varsity sports. She was team captain for three of the four seasons she played on the women's ice hockey team, scoring 76 goals and adding 72 assists. Linstad is 16th on Providence's all-time career points list, 10th in goals and 18th in assists. She was awarded the 1989 ECAC Player of the Year Award and continues to hold the distinction of being the only individual to earn the ECAC Player of the Year Award and the ECAC Coach of the Year A ward. In addition to her outstanding ice hockey career at Providence, Linstad played three seasons of soccer and spent a year on the softball squad. Linstad was inducted into the Chelmsford High School Hall of Fame in 2000.

THE WOMEN'S ICE HOCKEY ASSISTANT COACH AWARD This award recognizes the career body of work of an assistant coach in women's ice hockey.

photo2016 Recipient: Dan Koch

Dan Koch is in his fifth year as the associate head coach of the Badgers after a two-year stint serving as the head coach for the Shattuck-St. Mary's Girls Under-16 squad. During his time on the Badgers' bench, Koch has a 359-80- 34 (.795) record and helped Wisconsin win three NCAA titles and advance to seven NCAA Frozen Fours.

Koch started with UW in 2001 and spent eight seasons with the Badgers before stepping down at the end of the 2008-09 season. In his two years as a head coach at Shattuck-St. Mary's he compiled an overall record of 80- 30-12 and claimed a Tier I 16-U National with the Sabres in 2010.

During his time at Wisconsin, Koch has helped the Badgers win three national titles and reach the NCAA Frozen Four seven times. Koch (pronounced Cook) served as assistant coach from 2001 -2009 and served as the co-head coach for the team during the second half of the 2001-02 season.

Koch has overseen a stingy UW defense that has led the NCAA in scoring defense three different seasons, including the 2006-07 team that set an NCAA record with a 0.88 goals-against average. In his 12 seasons overseeing the UW defense, the Badgers have ranked in the top-three in the country in scoring defense in 11 of the 12 seasons. Koch also plays an instrumental role in UW's penalty-killing efforts, as Wisconsin set the NCAA penalty kill record during the 2014-15 season with a .958 clip. UW has led the NCAA in penalty-kill percentage in four of Koch's 12 seasons on the Badgers' bench. During the 2015-16 season, Koch helped the Badgers' set an NCAA men's and women's record by helping the Badgers record nine-straight shutouts. UW went over 624 minutes of play between goals given up from Oct. 3,2015 to Nov. 14,2015.

He came to Wisconsin following two seasons as an assistant coach with the women's hockey program at St. Mary's (Minn.) University working with forwards and goaltenders. While also working as a third-grade teacher at Franklin Elementary School in La Crosse, Wis., Koch helped lead St. Mary's to a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title during the 1999-00 season and a third-place finish at the national tournament in the 2000-01 season.

Before his experience with St. Mary's, Koch was the head coach of the La Crosse Logan/Central High School boys ice hockey team from 1996-99. He coached all-conference and all-state players during his three-year tenure. Koch earned his master's degree in education, teaching and learning in 2001 from St. Mary's University after earning his bachelor of science degree in elementary education in December of 1991 from Wisconsin.

Click here to view all past winners of these awards