Blaise MacDonald, who has led the Colby men’s hockey team to the NCAA “Frozen Four” Division III Championship, has been named Coach of the Year by the American Hockey Coaches Association.

The Edward Jeremiah Award for Division III was announced March 22 at the student athlete banquet celebrating the playoffs in Lake Placid, N.Y., where the team was to face off against St. Norbert the following day.

“Coach MacDonald is clearly one of the top coaching minds in the country,” said Jake Olkkola, Colby’s Harold Alfond Director of Athletics. “This season has been special in so many ways, and I am thrilled to see his efforts recognized on a national level.”

The Mules (17-10-2 overall) have had a momentous playoff run, earning the New England Small College Athletic Conference championship and advancing past SUNY-Geneseo on Geneseo’s home ice in the quarterfinal game last week.

Colby meets the top-ranked St. Norbert Green Knights (25-4-1) on Friday March 22, at 6:30 p.m., the second of two semifinal games at the historic Herb Brooks Arena. Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Salve Regina play in the first game at 3 p.m., and the semifinal winners face off for the national championship Saturday at 7 p.m.

MacDonald, who came to Colby in 2012, is a veteran of winning teams, including Niagara University and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He is Colby’s 18th head coach since the hockey program launched in 1922-23, and he holds the title of Jack Kelley Head Coach for Colby Men’s Hockey, named in honor of another legendary coach who led the team to tremendous success.

The winner of the Jeremiah Award, named for a legendary Dartmouth College coach, is chosen by members of the American Hockey Coaches Association and sponsored by CCM Hockey, a high-performance gear brand.