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USHL: Waterloo's P.K. O'Handley Named USHL Coach of the Year
Waterloo, IowaFollowing a season filled with unparalleled accomplishments, P.K. OHandley was named the United States Hockey Leagues 2013/14 Coach of the Year on Tuesday by a vote of USHL coaches and general managers.
The winter campaign included a regular season championship, franchise records for victories and winning streaks, and notable career milestones for the coaching veteran. This is the third time during OHandleys 12 seasons with the Waterloo Black Hawks that he has been recognized as the leagues Coach of the Year.
The great group of players who did everything that was asked of them is really what made this amazing year so special, OHandley said. It is humbling when your peers choose you for something like this award, and I am proud to share it with the players, with Shane Fukushima, Scott Pavelski, Todd Klein, and our entire organization.
On January 18th, OHandley achieved a new level of USHL coaching success. A 2-1 win against the National Team Development Program Under-18 squad was OHandleys 530th in 19 seasons leading either the Hawks or the North Iowa Huskies. The victory moved him past former Omaha Lancers Head Coach Mike Hastings for the most regular season wins in league history. OHandleys 400th regular season win with the Black Hawks came weeks later, 3-2 against the Des Moines Buccaneers, on March 8th.
OHandleys 2013/14 Black Hawks claimed the Anderson Cup as the top team during the regular season, setting a franchise record with 44 wins. Waterloo had earned the trophy on one prior occasion (2006/07) during the franchises junior era, also under OHandleys guidance. Sixteen of the clubs victories last season were accumulated during a franchise-record streak from December 13th through February 7th.
On the way to the Anderson Cup, the Hawks also earned their first Western Conference Championship after being shifted during realignment in 2011, and their first Prairie Farms Cowbell Cup for the top head-to-head record in the three-team series with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Dubuque Fighting Saints. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Black Hawks participated in the playoffs for the eighth consecutive year, reaching the Clark Cup finals for the fifth time in the past eleven seasons.
In 2013/14, three of OHandleys former Black Hawks made their NHL debuts: Chad Billins, Patrick Wey, and Eriah Hayes. The winter also foreshadowed future accomplishments by Waterloo skaters at higher levels of the game; 23 members of the current squad another franchise record had made NCAA Division I college commitments by the end of the season.