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Sarnia’s Ron Fogarty nominated for NCAA coaching honours

Troy Shantz Sarnia native Ron Fogarty was nominated for coach of the year in the ECAC Hockey League in the NCAA.
Princeton men’s hockey vs. Union
Ron Fogarty, head coach of the Princeton University men’s hockey team, has been nominated for the 2016-17 ECAC Coach of the Year award. Photo courtesy, Beverly Schaefer

Troy Shantz

Sarnia native Ron Fogarty was nominated for coach of the year in the ECAC Hockey League in the NCAA.

The third-year bench boss of the Princeton Tigers led his team to a 15-14-3 overall record and home ice advantage for the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13.

The former Bluewater Sharks coach said after a slow start his Tigers started to show their stripes around Thanksgiving.

“It was more of a recognition for what our team did throughout the season. We started off at 0-6-1 and then we were at .500 at the time of the nomination,” he said.

“We finished in seventh spot in a 12-team league when we were predicted to finish dead last.”

The Tigers won a three-game series against Colgate University last month, the first ECAC Hockey series win for Princeton since the 2009 playoffs.

“We still have a young team so there’s still some ebbs and flows in the season. For next year we’re looking for more consistency,” he said.

The coach of the year honour eventually went to Union University’s Rick Bennett, after he led his Tennessee school to its fourth Cleary Cup.

Prior to his appointment at Princeton in 2014, Fogarty coached the Adrian College Bulldogs out of Adrian, Michigan. In the seven years he lead them, he posted a 167-23-10 record, effectively turning their hockey program into a powerhouse. Under his guidance the Bulldogs won six regular-season titles and five Harris Cups - the NCAA Division III playoff championship honour.

Fogarty maintains a strong connection with hometown, and his parents still reside here.

The St. Patrick’s High School grad got his first taste of coaching in the early ‘90s as a freshman at Colgate. He returned home two consecutive summers to lead the Bluewater Sharks Bantam AAA, amassing an impressive record of 57-19-3.

He also keeps an eye on the Legionnaires. Son Jordan Fogarty played two seasons for the Junior B team before joining his dad at Princeton as a player.

And his two nephews, J. J. Fogarty and Carter Fogarty, play with the Sarnia Jr. Sting.

“We most definitely follow what’s happening in Sarnia,” he said.

Fogarty has seen a lot of hockey towns and believes what the city can offer developing young talent is unique.

“I think the biggest thing in minor hockey, in high school and then in junior hockey in Sarnia, is just the overwhelming support and passion that people and fans have,” he said.

“They love the game and there’s a lot of great products that have gone to the National Hockey League. It’s a great hockey town that’s very supportive of each other, and wants to see the best and see people succeed.”

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