USA Hockey will honor its service award recipients and various other players of the year on June 6 at its annual Night of Tribute Awards Dinner in Colorado Springs, while the other top awards will be presented during the President’s Awards Dinner on June 8.
One of the awards on June 8 will be presented to former Omaha hockey head coach Dean Blais.
In a hockey life spanning some six decades, Blais has a wide load of accomplishments through every level of the game.
Blais also tasted success in junior hockey, leading Fargo to the USHL’s Clark Cup Final. He won in international hockey, steering Team USA to a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship. He’s also won at the NHL level, helping lead the Columbus Blue Jackets as an associate coach from 2004-2007.
In all, Blais amassed 408 NCAA coaching victories, a total that puts him in the top 20 all-time. He is a two-time Spencer Penrose Award recipient as the top men’s coach in NCAA Division I ice hockey and a four-time WCHA Coach of the Year selection.
He led the Fighting Sioux to three NCAA Frozen Four appearances and guided Omaha to another in 2015.
Blais also coached the U.S. National Junior Team in 1993 and 2012 after serving on the U.S. Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team coaching staff in 1992.
A native of International Falls, Minnesota, Blais capped his coaching career in 2017 with his 14th winning college season before retiring to spend time with his wife, Jackie.