RMU Hockey: Derek Schooley Named a Finalist For National Coach of the Year


Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley delivers instructions to his team in a game this season. (Credit: RMU Athletics/Jason Cohn)

NEVILLE ISLAND, Pa. – Two weeks after being named the Atlantic Hockey Conference’s coach of the year, Robert Morris University’s Derek Schooley made the list of eight finalists for the Spencer Penrose Award, given annually to the coach judged to be the best in NCAA Division I men’s hockey.

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Schooley, a first-time Penrose finalist, is joined by Dean Blais (Nebraska-Omaha), Greg Carvel (St. Lawrence), Guy Gadowksy (Penn State), Dave Hakstol (North Dakota), Mike Hastings (Minnesota State), Nate Leaman (Providence) and David Quinn (Boston University) in this elite eight.

Finalist spots are awarded to individuals who win their conference’s coach of the year award, in addition to those whose teams make the NCAA semifinals. Voting for the Penrose is ongoing, and the winner will be announced April 8 before the Frozen Four in Boston.

Schooley’s Colonials put forth their third consecutive record-setting season, racking up a program-best 24 wins and their first regular-season conference championship. RMU’s 19-5-4 league record was one of the three best ever posted in the 12-year history of the AHC, and its overall winning percentage of .716 stands as the fifth-best among the 59 D-I men’s hockey teams in 2014-15.

Schooley joins senior forward Cody Wydo as Colonials who made the final stage of voting for a national prize. Wydo, the program’s all-time leading scorer, is one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, which will be handed out at the Frozen Four next weekend.

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  • Since 2010-11, when it left College Hockey America to join the AHC, Robert Morris boasts a 98-69-24 overall record, good for the 13th-best winning percentage (.576) in college hockey during that five-year span. Even more impressive, the Colonials are 41-14-8 (.726) since Jan. 1, 2014, ranking third in D-I.

    Schooley has overseen the entirety of the program’s progress from a varsity start-up in 2004-05 to its current successful stature. That ascent included a 20-win season in 2012-13 and an attention-grabbing AHC postseason title the next year, which resulted in RMU’s first trip to the NCAA tournament.

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