For only the second time in the history of the Spencer Penrose Award dating back to 1951, two coaches will share the honor given to the nation’s top Division I men’s hockey coach.
Brad Berry of the University of North Dakota and Mike Schafer of Cornell University were named co-winners on Tuesday. It was the first Penrose Award for each.
The only other time there were co-winners was in 1966 when Michigan State’s Amo Bessone and Clarkson’s Len Ceglarski shared the honor.
Ceglarski went on to win it twice more at Boston College.
University of Maine coach Red Gendron was one of the nine finalists for the award.
Berry guided the Fighting Hawks to an overall record of 26-5-4 and a 17-4-3 mark in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. They earned the league’s regular-season championship.
He was named the NCHC Coach of the Year for the second time in his five seasons.
Schafer led his ECAC regular-season champion Big Red to a 23-2-4 record including an 18-2-2 mark in league play. He was chosen the ECAC Coach of the Year for the fifth time, the most for any conference coach.
North Dakota finished atop the NCAA Division I Pairwise Rankings that mimic the NCAA Tournament selection process and Cornell was third. Cornell finished atop the final United States College Hockey Online poll and North Dakota was second.
Gendron, in his seventh year at UMaine, piloted the Black Bears to an 18-11-5 record (12-9-3 Hockey Eas), the best during his tenure. UMaine finished fourth in Hockey East after being selected eighth in the preseason coaches poll.
UMaine would have hosted No. 5 Connecticut in a best-of-three league quarterfinal series but the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the rest of the season.
UMaine went 10-3-2 over its final 15 regular-season games and is 13-1-3 in its last 17 games at Alfond Arena.
The other finalists were Minnesota’s Bob Motzko, Arizona State’s Greg Powers, Minnesota State’s Mike Hastings, Minnesota-Duluth’s Scott Sandelin, American International College’s Eric Lang and Bemidji State’s Tom Serratore.
The NCAA’s final award, the Hobey Baker Award, will be announced at 11 p.m. Saturday on ESPN’s SportsCenter broadcast. UMaine goalie Jeremy Swayman, Minnesota-Duluth defenseman Scott Perunovich and North Dakota right wing Jordan Kawaguchi are the Hat Trick finalists.