Lou Lamoriello - 1997 Legend of College Hockey
For Lou Lamoriello, the president and general manager of the National Hockey League's New Jersey Devils, the honors continue to pile up.
Lamoriello, the former hockey coach and athletic director at Providence College, has been named the winner of the 1997 Legend of College Hockey Award. For Lamoriello, who also has a Stanley Cup, World Cup and Lester Patrick Trophy to his credit, it is a fitting honor.
Lamoriello coached the Friars for 15 seasons, guiding the development of players like Brian Burke, Ron Wilson and Chris Terreri. Burke is now senior vice president and director of operations for the NHL. Wilson is the head coach of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (and was the head coach of Team USA in the World Cup). Terreri, a Hobey Baker finalist in 1986, is a goaltender for the Chicago Blackhawks.
During Lamoriello's time behind the Providence College bench, the Friars compiled a 248-179-13 record, good for a .578 winning percentage. Under Lamoriello, the Friars went to 12-straight post season tournaments and made the 1983 NCAA Championship title game in his last season. During his final five seasons at Providence (1978-83), Lamoriello's teams were 107-58-4, and had more players drafted by the NHL after entering college than any other program at the time.
A member of Providence's Hall of Fame, Lamoriello spent five years as the school's athletic director, overseeing 22 varsity teams and the operations of the department's considerable facilities. During Lamoriello's tenure, Providence also established a solid basketball presence, having hired current University of Kentucky coach Rick Pitino to run the Friars' program.
Lamoriello also played a vital role in the development of Hockey East, and served as the league's commissioner during the time Hockey East became established as one of the most prestigious college conferences in the country. He also served on the Big East Conference Television Committee, NCAA Professional Sports Committee and is a former president of the American Hockey Coaches Association.
Lamoriello attended Providence as an undergraduate and was captain of both the hockey and baseball teams. Upon graduation, he was an assistant coach for both hockey and baseball for four seasons.
Lamoriello joined the Devils in 1987 as president and soon-added the title of general manager to his portfolio. Under his guidance, the Devils have established a significant identity and fan base in the area, and the team he assembled won the Stanley Cup in 1995. Today, the Devils’ squad Lamoriello has assembled is regarded as one of the elite teams in the NHL.
In recent years, Lamoriello has been charged with guiding the United States' fortunes in international hockey. He assembled the players and staff for Team USA in the inaugural World Cup of Hockey. The blend proved to be highly successful as the Americans defeated Canada in the tournament final.
Lamoriello also has been selected by USA Hockey as the general manager of the United States' entry in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. That will mark the first Olympic tournament in which the NHL's top pros are eligible to participate.
Lamoriello and his wife Patricia have three children, Christopher, Heidi and Tim. Lamoriello is the 17th winner of the Legend of College Hockey honored by the Decathlon Club. Past recipients (in order of presentation) are Snooks Kelly (Boston College), Vie Heyliger (Michigan), John Mariucci (Minnesota), Murray Armstrong (Denver), Herb Gallagher (Northeastern), Amo Bessone (Michigan State), Murray Murdock (Yale), Fido Purpur (North Dakota), Jim Fullerton (Brown), Al Renfrew (North Dakota/Michigan), Jack Riley (Army), Connie Pleban (Minnesota-Duluth), Bill Cleary (Harvard), Jack Kelly (Boston University), John Mayasich (Minnesota) and Len Ceglarski (Boston College).