Former Michigan State hockey head coach Rick Comley was presented the John MacInnes Award on Wednesday evening at the American Hockey Coaches Association convention in Naples, Florida.
Established by AHCA in 1982 to honor former Michigan Tech coach John MacInnes, the award recognizes those who have shown a great concern for amateur hockey and youth programs. The recipients have had high winning percentages, as well as outstanding graduating percentages among their former players. The winners of this award have helped young men grow not only as hockey players, but more importantly, as men.
One of the longest-tenured and most successful coaches in NCAA history, Rick Comley won 783 games at three institutions in a 38-year career and guided Michigan State to the 2007 national championship. He is one of only two NCAA coaches to win NCAA titles at two different schools and he ranks fifth all-time in career victories with a career record of 783-615-110.
A 1971 graduate of Lake Superior State, where he played for Ron Mason, Comley started his head coaching career with the Lakers in 1973, taking over for Mason who went on to Bowling Green.
In three years at LSSU, Comley compiled a 59-49-3 mark and won an NAIA national championship. He then moved on to Northern Michigan University where he coached for 26 seasons and totaled 538 wins. His first NCAA title came in 1991 in one of the NCAA tournament's most dramatic championship games ever, a three-OT come-from-behind 8-7 win over Boston University.
In 2002, Comley took over at MSU where he won 186 games over nine seasons, including the 2007 NCAA title. His Spartan teams included 12 players who would skate in the National Hockey League, 15 All-CCHA performers, six All-Americans, and three Hobey Baker finalists.
The 2007 National Champions finished fourth in the CCHA and third in the CCHA Tournament, but went on a magical run through the NCAA Tournament which featured victories over Boston University, Notre Dame, Maine, and Boston College - some of the most prominent programs in college hockey. That team finished with a 26-13-3 record, and each of his first six teams at MSU finished with 20 or more victories.
Comley was presented the Spencer Penrose Memorial Award as college hockey's national coach of the year in 1980 and 1991. He was named CCHA Coach of the Year in 1980 and 1981, and was honored as WCHA Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1991.
A four-year letter winner (1967-71) for Ron Mason at Lake Superior State, Comley was a two-time NAIA All-American and served as team captain as a senior in 1971. He was voted the team's most valuable player and won Lake Superior State's Outstanding Athlete Award in 1971. He earned his bachelor's degree in political science from Lake Superior State in 1972 and a master's degree in education from Northern Michigan in 1973.
Comley is currently a scout for the Chicago Blackhawks.