Derek Schooley nominated for Penrose Award


Derek Schooley was named a finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award. Photo Credit: Tyler Gallo

By Colby Sherwin, Contributor

After a 15-9 overall record and a 10-5-1 mark in-conference as well as the first seed in the Atlantic Hockey Western Pod, men’s hockey head coach Derek Schooley has been a finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award, which is given to the top head coach in Division I hockey, according to Mark Divver of the New England Hockey Journal.

Though the Colonials didn’t end the year as they wanted with a loss in the first round of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament at the hands of Niagara, Schooley transformed a middle-of-the-pack team in 2019-20 to one of the best teams in the conference in 2020-21.

Schooley will have some stiff competition to win the award. Other nominees include:

  • Brad Berry, North Dakota
  • Greg Carvel, Massachusetts
  • Tony Granato, Wisconsin
  • Mike Hastings, Minnesota State
  • Brett Larson, St. Cloud State
  • Rand Pecknold, Quinnipiac
  • Brian Riley, Army
  • Scott Sandelin, Minnesota-Duluth
  • Jerry York, Boston College

Schooley’s Colonials averaged 3.54 goals a game in 2020-21, up from a low 2.27 mark in 2019-20. Power-play-wise, the Colonials also had a big improvement, skyrocketing from 13.8-percent to 25-percent.

Another bright side to Schooley is his recruiting ability. After a down year, Schooley knew that his team needed help. He brought in a fantastic freshman class, with some standouts being Randy Hernández and Noah West, who brought a lot to the table for the team.

Hernández won Rookie of the Year for the Western Pod, and West took the starting goalie job and never looked back. With these two at the helm, the Colonials have a bright future. Getting both players was a great move by Schooley, replenishing a roster that lost seven seniors including their starting goaltender.