Joanne Norell | March 30, 2017
After leading the University of Notre Dame hockey team to its first Frozen Four appearance since 2011, head coach Jeff Jackson was named one of 10 finalists for the Spencer Penrose Award, recognizing the NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Coach of the Year, on Tuesday.
Voting on the award will be conducted prior to the Frozen Four, which will be hosted by Notre Dame in Chicago, and the winner will be announced on April 5.
Jackson, now in his 12th season behind the Irish bench, has led Notre Dame to the third Frozen Four in his tenure, having also reached the semifinals in 2008 and 2011, including a national title game appearance in 2008. The Irish will face No. 1 Denver at 9:30 p.m. ET Thursday in the second semifinal game at the United Center.
This year marks the eighth NCAA tournament appearance for the Irish under Jackson. Notre Dame is 8-8-0 in NCAA Championship games since Jackson took the helm. The Irish advanced to the Frozen Four after defeating No. 1 seed Minnesota 3-2 Friday in the first round in Manchester, New Hampshire, and going on to oust second-seeded and fourth-ranked UMass Lowell in a 3-2 overtime thriller on Sunday. The win over the River Hawks was Jackson’s 450th career victory.