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White Bear Lake's Tim Sager honored

By staff reports, 03/17/11, 12:59PM CDT


Hibbing/Chisholm's DeCenzo, Hermantown's Plante share Class 1A award

White Bear Lake coach Tim Sager has been named the Coach of the Year in Class 2A by the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association. Photo by Helen Nelson

The Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association announced its section and state coaches of the year for the 2010-11 season.

White Bear Lake coach Tim Sager was named the recipient of the John Mariucci Award -- state coach of the year award -- for Class 2A. The Bears advanced to the state tournament for the first time since 2005 after upsetting top-ranked Hill-Murray in the Section 4AA championship game. White Bear Lake finished with a 22-7-2 record and won the Suburban East Conference title.

Hibbing/Chisholm coach Mark DeCenzo.

The John Mariucci Award for Class 1A was given to Hibbing/Chisholm coach Mark DeCenzo and Hermantown coach Bruce Plante.

Hibbing/Chisholm reached the state tournament for the first time in six years, finishing fourth. DeCenzo led the Bluejackets to a 18-11-2 overall record.

Hermantown coach Bruce Plante.

For the second time in as many years Hermantown found itself in the Class 1A championship game, however the Hawks failed again to earn the title -- this year falling to St. Thomas Academy 5-4 in overtime. The Hawks finished with a 25-4-2 record.

Craig Peterson (Hermantown/Class 1A) and Chris Anderson (White Bear Lake/Class 2A) were named the assistant coach of the year in their respective class.

Team academic championships were also announced.

Litchfield-Dassel-Cokato earned its second consecutive Class 1A academic state championship with a 3.70 grade point average.

Eden Prairie was awarded the Class 2A academic state championship posting a 3.86 grade point average. The award is Eden Prairie’s third straight Class 2A academic title in as many years and the Eagles have won the Class 2A state championship in two of those three years.

Eden Prairie was also the only team in the state to be awarded a Gold honor for academics (GPA above 3.75).

To see the MHCA official press release, download the PDF file below.

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2011 MHCA Coaches of the Year

Section Head coach School Assistant coach School
1A Chris Lonke/Roy Nystrom New Prague/Albert Lea Bob Rajanen* Red Wing
1AA Randy Schmitz* Lakeville North Paul Rutt* Lakeville North
2A Tim Donahue St. Louis Park Dick Emhaiser Providence Academy
2AA Joe Pankratz Prior Lake Dave Klein Chanhassen
3A Erik Setterholm* New Ulm Tom Macho Sleepy Eye
3AA Mike Taylor Eagan Todd Carlson Eagan
4A Corey McKinnon Chisago Lakes Steve Houge St. Paul Johnson
4AA Tim Sager White Bear Lake Chris Anderson White Bear Lake
5A Bruce Plante Hermantown Craig Peterson Hermantown
5AA Dave Aus Blaine Scott Richert Blaine
6A Scott Woods* Alexandria Mike Alt Fergus Falls
6AA Todd Weisjahn Robbinsdale Armstrong Tim Lloyd Robbinsdale Armstrong
7A Mark DeCenzo* Hibbing/Chisholm Dave Grannis Duluth Marshall
7AA Bruce LaRoque Grand Rapids Terry Johnson Duluth East
8A Mike Pepera Lake of the Woods Tim Lyon/Curt Bitter Lake of the Woods
8AA Wade Chiodo Bemidji Kevin Williamson Bemidji

* — Repeat winner from 2010

Bold/italic — Class 1A and Class 2A head coach/assistant coach of the year

Past Winners

2012 Class AA -- Ken Pauly, Benilde-St. Margaret's
2012 Class A -- Bruce Plante, Hermantown
2011 AA -- Tim Sager, White Bear Lake
2011 A -- Mark DeCenzo, Hibbing/Chisholm; Bruce Plante, Hermantown
2010 AA -- Jerry Hayes, Apple Valley
2010 A -- Kevin Smalley, Duluth Denfeld
2009 AA -- Lee Smith, Eden Prairie
2009 A -- Jeff Poeschl, Mahtomedi
2008 AA -- Curt Giles, Edina
2008 A -- Ken Essay, Mankato West
2007 AA -- Wes Bolin, Woodbury
2007 A -- Bruce Plante, Hermantown
2006 AA -- Bruce Laroque, Grand Rapids
2006 A -- Bruce Plante, Hermantown
2005 AA -- John Humphreys, Tartan
2005 A -- Keith Hendrickson, Virginia
2004 AA -- Erik Aus, Centennial
2004 A -- Todd Weisjahn, Orono
2003 AA -- Steve Sertich, Roseville
2003 A -- Chris Lonke, Simley
2002 AA -- Tom Saterdalen, Bloomington Jefferson
2002 A -- George Nemanich, Red Wing
2001 AA -- Bruce Johnson, Robbinsdale Armstrong
2001 A -- Jay Ness, Rochester Lourdes
2000 AA -- Steve Larson, Blaine
2000 A -- Sheldon Weston, Sauk Rapids
1999 AA -- Bruce Olson, Roseau
1999 A -- Mike Guzzo, Silver Bay
1998 AA -- Bruce Olson, Roseau
1998 A -- Bruce Plante, Hermantown
1997 AA -- Mark Decenzo, Hibbing
1997 A -- George Nemanich, Red Wing
1996 AA -- Bart Larson, Edina
1996 A -- Cary Eades, Warroad
1995 AA -- Earnest "Bucky" Kendig, St. Paul Johnson; Steve "Moose" Younghans, St. Paul Johnson
1995 A -- Todd Grina, Hutchinson
1994 AA -- Russ Welch, South St. Paul
1994 A -- Shawn Anderson, Farmington
1993 -- Tom Saterdalen, Bloomington Jefferson
1992 -- Terry Cullen, Moorhead
1991 -- Jeff Whisler, Hill-Murray
1990 -- Lyn Ellingson, Grand Rapids
1989 -- Bill Vukonich, Duluth Denfeld
1988 -- Bill Olson, Hibbing
1987 -- Bob Gernander, Greenway
1986 -- Tom Osiecki, Burnsville
1985 -- Larry Ross, International Falls
1984 -- Jerry Peterson, Bloomington Kennedy
1983 -- Larry Ross, International Falls

The John Mariucci Award

Since 1983 this award has been given to the high school coach of the year as selected by the state's hockey coaches. This award is given in memory of the great John Mariucci, who was a legend in Minnesota hockey and one of Minnesota's great sports figures.

A native of Eveleth, Mariucci played for the Chicago Blackhawks at a time when few Americans were able to play in the National Hockey League. Mariucci later coached the University of Minnesota hockey team, and the arena on the university campus bears his name.

John was a lifelong promoter and supporter of the Minnesota hockey player and remained so until his death in 1987.

Winners of this award are listed in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.