The Godfather of Alabama Hockey, Coach Mike Quenneville, is stepping aside and returning to Massena for a well-earned retirement.
Mike Quenneville of Massena, NY led the team to three National Championship Tournament appearances in his six seasons as Head Coach. Quenneville served as an Assistant Coach for two prior seasons before becoming the 3rd Head Coach in program history in 2010.
Quenneville retires with a Head Coaching record of 128-76-8. Quenneville is the only coach in program history to lead during the team’s time in ACHA DIII and ACHA DI. He was awarded the ACHA DIII National Coach of the Year Award in 2012. Mike Quenneville retires as the winningest Head Coach in Alabama Hockey Club history.
Coach Q was always gracious with his time, access to his program, and was genuinely enthused about bringing the sport to the Capstone. Quenneville was passionate about energizing the student body, as well as involving the Birmingham community, where the Frozen Tide has its home ice in neighboring Pelham. Perhaps chief among his many contributions to the game was his career-long dedication to youth hockey, where he hosted or coached at innumerable youth camps, growing the sport from the ground-up.
During his tenure at Alabama, Quenneville built Alabama into an SEC power, then a national player, at the D3 club hockey level. The success the Frozen Tide achieved in the lower ranks allowed Alabama to move to D1 ACHA hockey this season -- the final step before varsity (scholarship, NCAA-sanctioned) competition.
Among Coach Q's many Alabama achievements is one that particularly stands out: His Frozen Tide teams never lost, not once, to Auburn in the Iron Cup series. Coach Quenneville may have been born in New York, and he may have played his collegiate hockey at powerhouse UAH, but he damned well knew the importance of dominating Auburn: He retires with a a 17-0 record, mainly blowouts, against the Tigers, and that is a legacy even casual fans can appreciate.
Looking ahead, John Bierchen, an Alabama and Frozen Tide alum, has been named the new head man for the Tide. We will have more on the new-look Frozen Tide later in the summer.
On behalf of the many of us who derived so much pleasure from watching this program grow, thank you, Coach Quenneville. We appreciate all you've done and all the sacrifices you made to build Alabama hockey and to bring the sport to children all over this state and the South.
Roll Frozen Tide.