COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Bob O'Connor (Hopkins, Minn.) will be honored with the USA Hockey Builders Award as part of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Dinner on Dec. 4 at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center it was announced today by USA Hockey.
"Bob has had an enormous impact in the on-going development of our coaching education program," said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey. "He continues to be remarkably passionate about education and is always willing to share and transfer his knowledge for the betterment of coaches, players and all involved in the game. The USA Hockey Builders Award is one of our organization's highest honors and we look forward to presenting it to Bob in Minneapolis."
O'Connor has long been involved with USA Hockey, including serving as Coach-in-Chief of USA Hockey's Minnesota affiliate for 14 years (1980-94); as director of USA Hockey's Coaches Section for 10 years (1994-2004) and as USA Hockey's National Coach-in-Chief for two campaigns (2004-06). He also served on USA Hockey's Youth Council for eight years (1996-2004) and was voted USA Hockey director emeritus in 2004.
O'Connor has also been involved on the coaching staffs of multiple U.S. teams, including as an assistant coach for the 1984 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. He was also an assistant coach for the 1991 and 1992 U.S. National Junior Teams, as well as either a head or assistant coach for seven U.S. select teams.
O'Connor, who coached youth hockey throughout his career, spent 19 years guiding high school hockey teams in Minnesota, including 18 years for Edina High School and one year with Eden Prairie High School. O'Connor also spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Hamline University.
In 1990, USA Hockey recognized O'Connor for his selfless dedication to enhance the sport of ice hockey in the United States at the grassroots level, awarding him the Wm. Thayer Tutt Award. He was also the 1997 recipient of the Walter Yaciuk Award, given annually to an individual that demonstrates a consistent commitment and contribution to coaching education and the development of USA Hockey coaches.
A Providence, Rhode Island, native, O'Connor grew up playing hockey. He was all-state in high school and went on to play collegiately at Providence College. Following graduation, he moved to Edina, Minnesota, and felt right at home in the "State of Hockey."
O'Connor possess a vast collection of hockey materials and joined with USA Hockey in creating the USA Hockey Bob O'Connor International Resource Center, which is housed at USA Hockey's national headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Notes: The USA Hockey Builders Award was established in 1999 to honor individuals who have made lasting contributions to the long-term growth and success of USA Hockey. This prestigious award is presented to the architects of USA Hockey; leaders who have distinguished themselves through their dedication, vision and love of the game. Previous USA Hockey Builders Award recipients are Hal Trumble (1999), Walter L. Bush (2003), Art Berglund (2005), Joe Benedetto (2006), Ken Johannson (2011) and Tony Rossi (2014) ... Bob O'Connor is the first individual to be recognized with three of USA Hockey's major awards (Wm. Thayer Tutt Award, USA Builders Award and Walter Yaciuk Award) ... Tickets for the 2014 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Dinner are exclusively available online at USHockeyHallofFame.com.