St. Paul, Minn. – The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation is very pleased to announce its 2019 Legend of College Hockey recipient as Jim Cross. Widely recognized as the architect of University of Vermont hockey, Cross coached the Catamounts to one of the most impressive Division II records in history and guided the program to its entry into Division I hockey.
Taking over a Vermont program in its’ third year of existence for the 1965-66 season, Cross led the Cats for the next nine seasons in ECAC Division II hockey, culminating in back-to-back ECAC II championships in 1973 and 1974. Vermont then moved to Division I competition for the 1974-75 season, as Cross guided the “Cinderella Catamounts” to a third place finish in the ECAC standings (12-5 conference, 24-12 overall) and a third place finish in the ECAC playoff championships. Cross then added nine more seasons of Vermont hockey to his coaching resume, retiring from coaching following the 1983-84 campaign. Over his 19 years of coaching the green and gold, Jim Cross compiled a 280-251-9 record.
His greatest run came in Vermont’s last five years as a Division II school – four appearances in the championship game and three titles, while accumulating a mind-boggling .863 conference winning percentage (78-12-1) between 1969 and 1974. In the back-to-back title years of 1973 and 1974, Cross’s conference record was an unbelievable 37-1.
Cross’s coaching colleagues honored him as the nation’s Division II Coach of the Year in 1974 and in 1975, the school’s first season in Division I, he was named ECAC East Division Coach of the Year. Cross continued to work for the University of Vermont until his retirement in 1994. He was inducted into the University of Vermont Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.
A 1960 graduate of Boston University, Cross played 32 games over two seasons helping the Terriers to a 32-16-2 record from 1958 to 1960, and a third place finish at the NCAA tournament in 1960. He arrived in Burlington, Vermont in 1961 as Director of Physical Education where he remained until 1965 when he accepted a position as UVM’s assistant hockey coach, which turned into the head coaching job the following season.
Coach Cross will be honored along with this year’s Hobey Baker Award winner at the annual Hobey Baker Award Banquet on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Banquet tickets are available by visiting the Hobey website at: hobeybaker.com.
Key Hobey Baker announcement dates for 2019 include:
The 2019 Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced from a field of three Hobey Hat Trick finalists on Friday, April 12, 2019 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championship in Buffalo, NY. The award ceremony will be held at HarborCenter and will be broadcast nationally on NHL Network and streamed live at hobeybaker.com. For more info on the Hobey Baker Award please visit www.hobeybaker.com. To access the Hobey logo and trophy photos, please visit www.hobeybaker.com/media.