Former Gustavus Coach Roberts dies at 83
Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff
St. Peter, Minnesota- Former Gustavus Adolphus head coach Don Roberts, the man who rebooted the school's hockey program as head coach in 1964, died Sunday at the age of 83.
A formidable sports figure at Gustavus, Roberts enjoyed a highly successful ice hockey coaching career at his alma mater. It was a career that spanned over three decades and 532 career wins, which presently ranks sixth on the all-time list for Division III coaches. That total also held the top spot among Division III coaches at the time of his 1997 retirement. Roberts's squads dominated the MIAC in the former years of his tenure, winning 12 league crowns in a 13 year period, and he took the Gusties to the NCAA tournament on seven different occasions, which included a Division III Frozen Four appearance in 1982. The Gusties also made numerous NAIA tournament appearances under Roberts.
Although his legacy as a hockey coach took on a life of its' own, Roberts will also be remembered for his versatility, which played a pivotal role in what can be described as an unlikely hockey success story. When he took the reins of the newly reborn Gusties program in 1964, Roberts had never played, or coached hockey, but was entrusted with the program after coaching the school's baseball, wrestling, and football teams. Roberts, a 1956 graduate of Gustavus, played football, basketball, and baseball for the Gusties, and served three years in the United States Marine Corps before beginning his coaching career.
Roberts also contributed to the health of the Gustavus program long beyond his tenure by playing a significant role in the fundraising and construction for the current ice arena at Gustavus. The rink was renamed the Don Roberts Rink in 1998, in recognition of his over 30 years of service.
Roberts resided in St. Peter in the six decades prior to his death, and is survived by his wife and four children. A public memorial service will be held on the Gustavus campus later this week.
OT proposal halted by Rules Committee, Helmet rule expansion approved
INDIANAPOLIS- Last month, D3hockey.com reported that the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee was set to change college hockey's regular season overtime format to a mandatory four-on-four, five minute sudden death overtime period. After a late reversal of course by the committee, that will not be the case for this season.
The NCAA announced yesterday that the Rules Committee has elected not to proceed at this time with the proposed format change, which was scheduled to be on the agenda for final approval by the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel yesterday. The Committee's decision means the current five-on-five format in use for regular season play will stand for the upcoming season. Postseason play was not set to be affected by the proposal.
Committee chair Tom Anastos hinted that while the changes have been put on hold, his committee may revisit the proposal after further observation. The proposal, which closely mirrors overtime personnel reductions utilized by professional leagues, was designed to assist in bringing about an increase in overtime scoring, and in limiting the number of ties.
“As part of the rules process, the committee has been gathering input from our membership on all of our proposals, including this issue,” Anastos said in an NCAA release. "While there remains support for some change to our current system, the committee believes that the best course of action at this time is to pause for at least another season to allow for more dialogue, examination and consideration to occur.”
However, while the committee had championed reforms to the overtime procedure, many coaches favored the status quo. At the AHCA convention in Naples, the proposal was met with strong resistance from a vast majority of college coaches, many of whom have dismissed the proposed alterations as unnecessary.
Other changes to overtime could still be coming for some conferences. While the proposed four-on-four format was tabled, another aspect of overtime reform was approved on an experimental basis by the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel yesterday. This season, conferences will have the option to implement an additional five minute three-on-three overtime period, followed by a shootout if the game remains tied. The result of the additional period and shootout will be utilized for the purposes of conference standings only, and any game that progresses beyond the first overtime will still be recorded as a tie on each team's overall win/loss record.
Another measure that was approved by the committee refines the current rules regarding helmet usage. Beginning this fall, all players and officials will now be required to wear a helmet at all times while on the ice surface, with the lone exception to the rule being when the national anthem is played. The tightening of the current helmet regulations comes in the aftermath of referee Butch Mousseau's death due to injuries sustained in a pregame on-ice fall at this year's WCHA Final Five. He was not wearing a helmet at the time.
Longtime coach Steve Hoar dies
Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff
Leicster, Mass- Becker College has announced that assistant athletic director and men's head hockey coach Steve Hoar, a mainstay in the Division III coaching ranks for over three decades, died at his home Monday.
Hoar had been behind the bench for the Hawks as head coach since 2007, running up a record of 84-143-15 in nine seasons at the helm. He reached the ECAC Northeast postseason tournament six times, and was named the league's coach of the year after his inaugural season, leading the Hawks to an even 12-12-2 that year.
"College hockey lost one of the good guys with passing of Steve Hoar," said assistant vice president and director of athletics Frank Millerick in the school's release. "He was a lifelong coach who touched the lives of hundreds of student-athletes from West Point to Plattsburgh to Tufts, and finally, Becker College. He was part of Becker hockey since its inception in 2006 and can truly claim that he built the program from the ground up. Steve's passion and love for the sport of college hockey and dedication to his players are unmatched. He will be dearly missed by me and all who knew him."
Hoar's seven seasons at Becker represented a fair fraction of a much lengthier head coaching career that spans back to 1984, when he became the head coach at Plattsburgh State. He laid the foundation for an extended run of success in the North Country, winning 131 games in a five year stretch to go with three conference titles. The Cardinals claimed the national championship in 1987 under his tutelage, but would later rescind the title three years later due to NCAA infractions. Hoar mentored current head coach Bob Emery, who joined his staff as an assistant, during one year of his tenure.
After his 1989 departure from Plattsburgh, Hoar would take a five year hiatus from coaching before landing at Tufts University, where he remained for four seasons. After departing in 1997, he would not run a Division III team again until his arrival at Becker in 2007, where he also taught in the school's Sports Management department. His head coaching career was preceded by a stint at the United States Military Academy, where he assisted under the legendary Jack Riley for six years.
A full obituary for Coach Hoar, complete with service arrangements, can be found here.
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