Jim Cross (ice hockey coach)

James M. Cross (January 29, 1933 – May 2, 2020) was an American ice hockey player and coach who led the Vermont Catamounts of the University of Vermont for nineteen seasons.[1]

Jim Cross
Jim Cross Vermont Hockey.jpg
Biographical details
BornJanuary 29, 1933
Weymouth, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedMay 2, 2020(2020-05-02) (aged 87)
Savannah, Georgia
Alma materBoston University
Playing career
1958–1960Boston University
Position(s)Forward
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1965–1984Vermont
Head coaching record
Overall280–251–9 (.527)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
1970 ECAC II Tournament Champion
1973 ECAC II Champion
1973 ECAC II Tournament Champion
1974 ECAC II Champion
1974 ECAC II Tournament Champion
1980 ECAC Hockey West Division Champion
Awards
1973 Edward Jeremiah Award
1975 Harry Cleverly Alumni Award
1996 University of Vermont Athletic Hall of Fame
2001 AHCA John MacInnes Award
2019 Hobey Baker Legends of College Hockey Award
2020 Vermont Sports Hall of Fame

Playing careerEdit

Cross graduated from Boston University in 1960, having played ice hockey for the Terriers for two seasons. In his senior year, he helped the team record a third-place finish at the 1960 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Tournament.[2] While at BU, Cross played collegiate summer baseball with the Dennis Clippers of the Cape Cod Baseball League.[3][4][5]

Coaching careerEdit

After graduating from BU, Cross became the director of physical education at Lyman C. Hunt School, a position he held for four years before accepting the head coaching position at nearby Vermont. Cross joined the program in only its third year of existence and took a few years to get the team going in the right direction. In 1970 Cross won his first ECAC 2 tournament title but did not participate in the national tournament because the Division II championship did not start until 1978. After two more good seasons Cross's teams won back-to-back ECAC II titles, and went undefeated in conference play in 1973, earning Cross the Edward Jeremiah Award that year.[6]

In 1974 Vermont promoted its program to Division I and was immediately accepted into ECAC Hockey. The Catamounts exceeded general expectation by finishing the season with a 24–12 record and in third place in the conference. The team also finished third in the ECAC tournament. After this promising start, Vermont declined to middling records for four years before winning an ECAC West divisional title in 1980. The 1979–80 season was Cross's last winning season, and over his final four years Vermont finished no higher than 12th in the conference. In 1984 Cross resigned, saying, "I want to step aside before I get to the burnout stage."[7]

Cross remained with the University of Vermont until his retirement in 1994 and two years later was inducted into the University of Vermont Athletic Hall of Fame.[1] He was honored in 2001 with the American Hockey Coaches Association's John MacInnes Award, which "recognizes those people who have shown a great concern for amateur hockey and youth programs."[8] In 2019, Cross received the prestigious Hobey Baker Legends of College Hockey Award,[9] and in 2020, he was inducted into the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame.[10]

Later years and deathEdit

In his later years, Cross lived in Savannah, Georgia,[11] and died there of complications of COVID-19 on May 2, 2020, at age 87.[12][13]

College head coaching recordEdit

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Vermont Catamounts (ECAC 2) (1965–1974)
1965–66 Vermont 8–11–0 8–7–0
1966–67 Vermont 5–14–0 4–9–0
1967–68 Vermont 12–11–0 12–6–0 ECAC West Semifinals
1968–69 Vermont 13–12–0 11–8–0
1969–70 Vermont 16–8–0 14–4–0 ECAC II Champion
1970–71 Vermont 17–9–0 14–4–0 ECAC II Runner-Up
1971–72 Vermont 17–7–2 13–3–1 ECAC II Semifinals
1972–73 Vermont 24–7–0 19–0–0 1st ECAC II Champion
1973–74 Vermont 28–5–0 18–1–0 1st ECAC II Champion
Vermont: 140–84–2 113–42–1
Vermont Catamounts (ECAC Hockey) (1974–1984)
1974–75 Vermont 24–12–0 12–5–0 3rd ECAC Third Place Game (Win)
1975–76 Vermont 15–16–1 9–13–0 11th
1976–77 Vermont 15–15–0 10–13–0 11th
1977–78 Vermont 15–16–0 9–14–0 T–11th
1978–79 Vermont 12–18–0 11–10–0 8th ECAC Quarterfinals
1979–80 Vermont 23–12–0 16–7–0 4th ECAC Quarterfinals
1980–81 Vermont 9–23–2 4–16–2 16th
1981–82 Vermont 11–16–2 8–12–2 12th
1982–83 Vermont 6–21–1 3–16–1 15th
1983–84 Vermont 10–18–1 6–13–1 14th
Vermont: 140–167–7 88–119–6
Total: 280–251–9[14]

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

† Lowell was a provisional member of ECAC Hockey and only played a non-conference schedule.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Jim Cross". University of Vermont Athletic Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  2. ^ Wally Shaver (February 28, 2019). "Jim Cross Named Hobey Baker "Legend of College Hockey"". hobeybaker.com. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  3. ^ Arnold, Pete (August 22, 1957). "Pitchin' With Pete". The Cape Codder. Orleans, MA. p. 15.
  4. ^ "Girsch Too Much For Yarmouth". Yarmouth Register. Yarmouth, MA. July 25, 1958. p. 4.
  5. ^ Hunt, Lee (December 16, 1960). "Talking Sports". Yarmouth Register. Yarmouth, MA. p. 7.
  6. ^ "Coaches of the Year". American Hockey Coaches Association. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  7. ^ "Cross's 19th Season His Last at Vermont". The New York Times. January 1, 1984. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  8. ^ "AHCA Awards". The American Hockey Coaches Association.
  9. ^ "Former Vermont coach Cross tabbed 2019 Hobey Baker Legend of College Hockey recipient". uscho.com. February 28, 2019. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  10. ^ Austin Danforth (January 29, 2020). "Vermont Sports Hall of Fame unveils inductees for 2020". burlingtonfreepress.com. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ Former UVM hockey coach Jim Cross dies due to COVID-19 complications
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ "Vermont Hockey 2018–19 Record Book" (PDF). Vermont Catamounts. Retrieved October 14, 2018.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jack Canniff
Edward Jeremiah Award
1972–73
Succeeded by
Barry Urbanski
Preceded by
Red Berenson
Hobey Baker Legends of College Hockey Award
2019
Succeeded by
Rick Comley