AIC’s Lang Named CHN Coach of the Year
PRINCETON, N.J. — American International’s Eric Lang has been named College Hockey News Coach of the Year for 2018–19. Lang is the first coach from Atlantic Hockey to win the honor.
The Yellow Jackets are set to play their first-ever NCAA Tournament game this weekend, against St. Cloud State, coming off a season of other firsts. In just his third season at the helm, Lang led AIC to its first winning record as a full-fledged Division I team, its first Atlantic Hockey regular-season championship, and first Atlantic Hockey tournament championship. AIC earned the latter by winning two overtime games in the semifinals and finals last week in Buffalo.
Lang played at American International under long-time coach Gary Wright. He was an assistant at Army when Wright decided to step down following the 2015–16 season. Lang took over, and after an eight-win season, improved the Yellow Jackets to 15–20–4 last year, and now 22–16–1 this season.
“I for one am not surprised by what Langer has done at AIC,” Army coach Brian Riley said. “Having had the opportunity to work with him here at West Point, I knew that he would be a great head coach. First and foremost Langer is a real people person and he understands coaching is about relationships. He is a great recruiter and has a great ability to see things in players that many don’t. Nobody will out work him when it comes to recruiting. As a coach he does a great job developing his players. He has a great hockey mind but he is always looking for ways to become a better coach.
“I can’t say enough about Eric Lang as a coach as I truly believe he is one of the best coaches in college hockey.”
Part of the creativity Lang has used in building the program to where it is, is recruiting 10 Europeans to play for AIC, including starting goaltender Zackarias Skog, from Sweden by way of the USHL’s Omaha Lancers.
Lang edged out many other fine candidates, particularly Massachusetts’ Greg Carvel. Also considered were Clarkson’s Casey Jones, Arizona State’s Greg Powers, Denver’s David Carle, and Minnesota State’s Mike Hastings.
Source: CHN Staff Report