After all the recognition her players received – two All-WCHA awards, WCHA MVP, two All-America honors, five named to the Frozen Four all-tournament team and most outstanding player at the Frozen Four – it seemed only fair that Minnesota women’s hockey coach Laura Halldorson would get some credit of her own.
The American Hockey Coaches Association named Halldorson Division I coach of the year Tuesday.
“It is an honor, and I certainly appreciate the recognition from my peers,” Halldorson said. “(But) anytime a team is successful, there are a lot of people who contribute.”
Halldorson led the Gophers to a 30-4-2 record and a winning percentage of .912, the highest in program history.
She also guided the Gophers to the WCHA regular season and Final Five championships, and the program’s first NCAA Division I women’s hockey title.
Halldorson said she felt that her squad delivered this year despite being marked as the top team throughout the season.
The NCAA title run included the first time the Gophers had won a game at the national tournament since it became an NCAA-sanctioned event in 2001.
“We did have pressure on us this year to be successful,” she said. “We met our expectations and did well.”
This year marks the third time Halldorson has won the award. She took home the honor in 1998 and again in 2002.
In seven years with the Gophers, Halldorson is 190-42-18. In her career, she is 249-117-27.