BORN: April 9, 1909
DIED: March 3, 1991
TEAMS/ASSOCIATIONS: Brown University
One of the true gentlemen in the sport, Jim Fullerton became the first full-time coach at Brown University in 1955. In his early years, he sometimes had trouble filling out a roster at the Ivy League school known more for its academics than its athletics. But in the span of a decade, he had generated the evolution of a strong, substantial hockey program.
In 1965 his team won the Ivy League Championship and went to the NCAA Final Four. It was the most successful hockey season in Brown University history, and Fullerton was awarded the Spencer Penrose Award as the nation’s coach of the year.
In 15 seasons, his Brown teams gave him a lifetime coaching record of 176-168-9. Fullerton ran a classy, first-rate operation at Brown, and his fellow coaches recognized his outstanding coaching ability. He was a four-time recipient of the New England Coach of the Year (the Clark Hodder Award ), was named to the U.S. Collegiate Hall of Fame in 1971 and Brown University’s Hall of Fame in 1974.
Fullerton also coached the US team for the World Games against the Soviet Union and Canada in 1972. In addition, he was a member of the US Olympic Committee for the World Games against the Soviet Union and Canada that same year as well. A member of the US Olympic Committee from 1969-72, he later scouted for the Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Islanders.
As a player, Fullerton starred at Norwich University but turned down the opportunity to play pro in order to accept a coaching job at Norwood. He would remain there for 24 years, bringing that school solid recognition as a formidable hockey power and sending numerous players off to collegiate careers.
Beyond that, Fullerton also worked as a top hockey official. From 1933-55, Fullerton refereed professional, college and high school games in the Lake Placid area. He became vice-president of the New England Chapter of the AAU referees and was referee-in-chief for the 1939 national amateur championships in Lake Placid. When he accepted the challenge to move to Brown, Fullerton continued to show his organizational skills as a prominent force in the formation and development of the American Hockey Coaches Association, which he also served as president.