[NOTRE DAME RELEASE]
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- After leading the Notre Dame hockey team to Big Ten regular season and tournament titles and the NCAA East Regional Championship to earn a second consecutive trip to the Frozen Four, Fighting Irish head coach Jeff Jackson has been named the 2018 Spencer Penrose Award winner.
Presented annually by the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA), the Spencer Penrose Award recognizes the NCAA Division I Coach of the Year. It is Jackson's second career honor, previously winning the national coach of the year award in 2007
With comeback wins over No. 4 seed Michigan Tech and No. 2 seed Providence College at the NCAA East Regional in Bridgeport, Connecticut, No. 1 seed Notre Dame has advanced to the Frozen Four for the fourth time in program history, all under the guidance of Jackson.
In 13 seasons with the Irish, Jackson has taken Notre Dame to nine NCAA tournaments and captured a combined seven conference regular season and tournament championships. This season, he’s presided over an Irish team that has accumulated 27 wins (27-9-2), which marks just the fifth time in program history the Irish have reached that milestone.
In addition to four appearances in the Frozen Four with Notre Dame, Jackson also led Lake Superior State to three Frozen Four appearances in his six seasons with the Lakers, including national titles in 1992 and 1994.
All told, in 19 seasons as a head coach at Lake Superior State and Notre Dame, Jackson has guided his squads to 15 NCAA tournament appearances. He is one of just four head coaches to take two schools to multiple Frozen Fours, joining Len Ceglarski (Clarkson and Boston College), Ned Harkness, (Rensselaer and Cornell) and Notre Dame alum Don Lucia (Colorado College and Minnesota).
Jackson and the Irish will take on Big Ten foe Michigan on Thursday, April 5, in the second national semifinal game. The puck will drop at 9:30 p.m. ET from the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and will be televised on ESPN2.