A decade after he left the Ohio Hockey bench, Craig McCarthy will be recognized for a career of unprecedented success.
On April 30, the former Bobcats coach will be inducted to the American Collegiate Hockey Association Hall of Fame as part of the builder category, the league announced this week. McCarthy, a professor in the psychology department at Ohio University, coached Ohio from 1993 through 2001, and won three consecutive ACHA national championships while amassing a 215-46-14 career record.
“Getting recognized is great; it’s really exciting,” McCarthy said. “But to me, it’s an accomplishment of an entire group.” Along with winning the 1995, 1996 and 1997 ACHA national championships, McCarthy was named Central State Collegiate Hockey League Coach of the Year on four occasions, and took home the ACHA honor in 1998.
Current Ohio coach Dan Morris was a player on those championship teams and credited McCarthy for much of his own personal success on the ice and behind the bench.
“Craig’s knowledge and ability to coach is unbelievable,” Morris said. “He’s represented the school well. He’s always put his players and the coaches that worked for him first.”
McCarthy will become the eighth member of the ACHA Hall of Fame — the sixth in the builders category. The London, Ont., native will be the first representative from OU.
The induction ceremony will be held during the ACHA Annual Meeting in Naples, Fla. Morris said that he is eager to see his predecessor recognized for his numerous accomplishments and contrbutions to the league and the Ohio Hockey program.
“I’m excited he gets to go to Florida and we get to watch him get inducted,” Morris said. “He gets to see how far the ACHA’s come along … when he started, it was 25 schools, and now it’s 450.
“It’s a big deal, and hopefully the people down there understand his contributions to the success of the ACHA.”
McCarthy, who began coaching at the age of 12, returned to the bench for the first time this year since handing over the Bobcats reigns to Morris. He now coaches his sons Jake, 6, and Eli, 4.