Brett Berger Named National Women’s D1 Coach of the Year

Adrian College’s Brett Berger has been named the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s 2017 Women’s Division 1 Coach of the Year, and received his award during Friday’s ACHA banquet at the American Hockey Coaches’ Association Convention at the Naples Beach Hotel. 

The award has been presented annually by the ACHA since 2001.

Berger led the Bulldogs to a first-place finish in the Central Collegiate Women’s Hockey Association with an undefeated 14-0 record in league play. Overall, Adrian was 26-5 for an .839 winning percentage—setting a team benchmark for winning percentage in a season, recording the second-most wins in its history and going undefeated in the CCWHA for the first time ever.

Prior to the national tournament, Adrian scored 129 goals and allowed only 29 for a goal differential of +100 and a 1.07 team goals-against average. The Bulldogs entered the ACHA Women’s D1 Championship in Columbus, Ohio, as the second seed before falling to eventual champion Miami (Ohio) University in the tournament semifinals.

“This is a humbling honor as this award is voted on by my peers whom I hold in the highest regard,” said Berger. “This is a team award and I am extremely proud of my girls this season for the effort they put forth every day. We’re excited about this award, but we know there is still plenty of work to get done moving forward.”

In January, Berger served as an assistant coach for the U.S. National University Women’s Team, which won a bronze medal at the 2017 World University Games in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Team USA was made up primarily of ACHA D1 players, including three student-athletes— freshman forward Brittany Levasseur, graduate forward Jessie Rushing and junior defenseman Sabrena Camp—who play for Berger at Adrian.

“Brett has done a great job coaching this team,” said ACHA Women’s D1 commissioner Molly Mahoney. “He coached his team to an undefeated regular season in the CCWHA, and they were continually in the top-3 of the national rankings week after week. I am excited to see what Brett can continue to do with this team.”

Since being elevated from assistant coach halfway through the 2013-14 season, Berger’s teams have gone 56-23-12 with a .681 winning percentage. He previously served as head coach of the Adrian ACHA D3 gold men’s squad, and an assistant for both Adrian’s ACHA D1 men’s team and Neumann University, a NCAA Division III varsity program in Aston, Pa.

Berger was a standout player at Jonathan Dayton High School in Springfield, N.J., before playing for the Rutgers University ACHA DI men’s team, where he also earned a degree in sports management.

(Editor’s note: Portions of this release from the ACHA national office.)