|Head coach Pat Fung (center) has led the WIHC to a 28-8-3 record in two seasons|
Women's Ice Hockey Club head coach Pat Fung has been named the ACHA Women's Division 2 coach of the year for the 2013-14 season, the association announced on Saturday. He will formally be presented with the award on Friday, May 2, 2014, at the ACHA's annual meeting at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club in Naples, FL.
He becomes the first Penn State women's coach to be honored as a national coach of the year, and the first from any PSU team since Scott Balboni was named ACHA Men's Division 1 coach of the year with the former Icers program in 2006-07.
Fung, at the helm for both seasons of the WIHC era, helped start up the team in the aftermath of the ACHA Women's Division 1 Lady Icers' elevation to NCAA status and has led it to a 28-8-3 overall record (19-4-2 in 2013-14). That record includes a pair of appearances at the ACHA National Tournament in 2013 and 2014, each of which resulted in a second place finish.
In the inaugural season of the College Hockey East women's conference this past year, PSU went 8-2-2 within the league to win its regular season title. At nationals last month, the WIHC swept its pool with wins over Alaska, Delaware and North Dakota State, then added a 2-1 semifinal win over rival California before falling to Iowa State in the title game.
His team was equally successful off the ice in 2013-14, registering a team GPA of 3.45. Eleven of 20 players made the Dean’s List (requiring a GPA of 3.50 or greater) in the fall, including two perfect 4.00 marks.
Fung's decade and a half of history with Penn State hockey includes turns both playing for and coaching the ACHA Men's Division 2 Ice Lions - he was 76-20-1 as bench boss from 2004-07, including three appearances at nationals - duties as an assistant for both Joe Battista and Balboni with the ACHA Men's Division 1 Icers, and also a notable stint on Mo Stroemel's staff with the ACHA Women's Division 1 Lady Icers. That latter period saw the rejuvenation of a program that had fallen on hard times due to heavy player and coach turnover, as well as the recruitment of several players who went on to become prominent upperclass leaders with the WIHC as it started up.
Under Fung's guidance, four different players have received All-American recognition six times, with goaltender Katie Vaughan and forward Geneva Wagoner receiving first-team nods this past season, and forward Devon Fisk joining them on the second team. Vaughan, Fisk and defenseman Tara Soukup were first team All-ACHA Tournament in March, while Fisk (first team) and Vaughan (second team) also received recognition in 2013. The Fung-era individual awards haul also includes forward/goaltender Mary Kate Tonetti, the division's Off Ice MVP in 2012-13.
In addition to his duties with teams wearing blue and white, the Hillsborough, NJ native is active with local youth hockey and high school organizations and has worked with Penn State and the Mid-Am District’s hockey camps for over ten years.