Jon Cooper Named AHL Coach Of The Year.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Jon Cooper of the Norfolk Admirals has been named the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Awardas the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2011-12 season, as voted by coaches and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.

In his second season in the professional ranks, Cooper has kept his Admirals at the top of the league for much of the year, finally pulling away from the rest of the pack on the strength of a record 25-game winning streak that remains intact heading into the final week of the season. At 52-18-1-2 (107 points), the Admirals have won their first division title since 2003 and have captured the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the overall points champion for the first time ever. Norfolk, whose top five scorers this season include three rookies and one second-year pro, leads the AHL in offense (3.58 goals per game) and ranks third in defense (2.40 goals against per game), and under Cooper’s development watch nine Admirals were called up to play a total of 142 games with the parent Tampa Bay Lightning in the National Hockey League this season.

A 44-year-old native of Prince George, B.C., Cooper joined the Tampa Bay Lightning organization in August 2010 as head coach of their top development affiliate in Norfolk following a prolific career in the U.S. junior ranks. He won a USHL championship and was that league’s coach of the year with Green Bay in 2010, and was twice coach of the year in the NAHL with St. Louis, winning back-to-back titles there in 2007 and 2008. Cooper has also spent time behind the bench internationally for Team USA’s U-17 and U-18 teams. A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, Cooper played hockey and lacrosse at Hofstra University and later obtained a law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

The Louis A.R. Pieri Award, which was first presented in 1968, honors the late Mr. Pieri, a long-time contributor to the AHL as the owner and general manager of the Providence Reds and a 2009 inductee into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame. Previous winners of the award include Frank Mathers (1969), Fred Shero (1970), Al MacNeil (1972, ’77), John Muckler (1975), Jacques Demers (1983), Larry Pleau (1987), Mike Milbury (1988), John Paddock (1988), Marc Crawford (1993), Barry Trotz (1994), Robbie Ftorek (1995, ’96), Peter Laviolette (1999), Claude Julien and Geoff Ward (2003), Claude Noel (2004), Randy Cunneyworth (2005), Kevin Dineen (2006), Mike Haviland (2007), Scott Gordon (2008), Scott Arniel (2009), Guy Boucher (2010) and John Hynes (2011).

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I'm not the average hockey nut. It took a bit to grow, but when it did it was like a drug flowing in my veins. I am a season ticket holder of the Norfolk Admirals, longtime supporter of the Washington Capitals, and part time supporter of the Anaheim Ducks (It's hard, but it can be done). My blog is a result of the lack of good sources of Admirals information and happenings. Our paper provides very weak coverage and there is only so much the Admirals themselves can do. There are not to many blogs that cover the Admirals, and when they do it is just rehashed information from the club, the AHL. Nine times out of ten the blogger doesn't even live in the area or go to the games. So what do I want to do? Hmm...good question. I would use this as an outlet for getting out information about the Admirals. Not necessarily the information provided by official channels, but news and information from a fans point of view. Hopefully this is something I can accomplish. I am open to criticism, comments, contributions of infomation for the site. Thank You and Welcome......

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