WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross men's hockey coach Paul Pearl, who was named the 2010-2011 Atlantic Hockey Coach of the Year, is one of eight finalists for the Spencer Penrose award given to the NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Coach of the Year. The nominees represent any coach who won Coach of the Year honors in his conference this past season, along with coaches whose teams have advanced to the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey semifinals. The winner will be announced following the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship scheduled for April 7 and 9 in St. Paul, Minn.
This was the second time that Pearl has earned Atlantic Hockey Coach of the Year honors as he was previously named the 2004 Atlantic Hockey Coach of the Year. He was also the 2002 MAAC Coach of the Year, the 1998 ECAC East Coach of the Year and the 1998 New England Writer's Association Coach of the Year. This season the Crusaders tallied a 17-16-5 overall record and went 14-8-5 in the Atlantic Hockey regular season. The Crusaders' 17 overall wins were their most in a season since they won a school record 27 games in 2005-2006. The Crusaders' 14 Atlantic Hockey wins were their most in a season since they won a program-best 19 games with a 19-7-2 record in 2005-2006. On Jan. 28 with 10 games left to play the Crusaders were tied for eighth place out of 12 teams in Atlantic Hockey with a 6-8-3 league record and 15 points. Holy Cross then finished in third place with 33 points taking 18 of the 20 available points. The third place finish was Holy Cross' best since it placed first in the standings in the 2005-2006 season. Also this season, the Crusaders set a new school record when they went undefeated in 12 straight games between Jan. 22-March 11 as Holy Cross went 9-0-3.
Pearl just concluded his 16th year at the helm of the Holy Cross ice hockey program, and is just the fifth head coach in the history of ice hockey at Holy Cross. On January 21, 2006, with a 3-2 victory at Dartmouth, Pearl became the school's all-time winningest coach with the 168th victory of his career. Pearl has forged a 243-242-59 (.501) record at Holy Cross. He has had three teams post 20-plus win seasons. Along with 15 post-season appearances in 16 years, Pearl led the Crusaders to their first two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2004 and 2006, while he coached the Crusaders to their first ever NCAA Tournament win with the 4-3 overtime victory over Minnesota in Grand Forks, N.D., on March 24, 2006. In 2005-2006, Pearl led the Crusaders to a school single season record 27 victories, as the team posted an overall record of 27-10-2. Holy Cross also claimed the AHA regular season and tournament titles.