By Lexi Obrycki / USPHLNCDC.com
The National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC) is one of the most competitive ice hockey leagues in North America. Coaches in this league face high expectations from their players, the organization, and the hockey community at large.
So, it’s no small feat to receive the Ryan Frew Memorial Coach Of The Year Award in this league. Recently, the NCDC announced that P.A.L. Jr. Islanders Head Coach Mike Marcou has earned this coveted honor.
The award is named in memory of former New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs NCDC Head Coach Ryan Frew, who passed away from natural causes at the age of 40 following just at the start of the 2020-21 season. Frew was named the 2018-19 NCDC Coach Of The Year in his first season with the Monarchs.
“To receive the Ryan Frew Memorial Coach of the Year Award is an honor in many ways. I was lucky enough to get to meet Ryan and we all are trying to meet the standard that he has set,” said Marcou, who coached against Frew during his first season in 2019-20. Marcou and Jersey Hitmen Head Coach Toby Harris split the Coach of the Year award that season.
Here in 2022-23, Marcou lifted the Jr. Islanders to their all-time highest points total in the NCDC, at 34-11-1-4 overall, coming within one point of tying for the lead in the league. It also didn’t hurt his cause that the P..A.L. Jr. Islanders are bound for their first Dineen Cup Final series this weekend.
When asked about his thoughts on winning the award, Marcou expressed his gratitude and appreciation. He acknowledged the support and resources provided by the organization’s Director and the NCDC General Manager Ron Kinnear, which helped him achieve this milestone.
Marcou also credited his assistant coach, Frank DiChiara, and the team, who worked hard and showed great dedication to improving every day.
“It is a great honor to receive the Coach of the Year award. Without the support and resources from our Director Ron Kinnear, I wouldn’t be able to achieve this,” said Marcou. “Also, this is a huge credit to my assistant Frank DiChiara and to the team who comes to the rink everyday willing and wanting to work to get better.”
The award comes to Marcou one year after missing most of the 2021-22 season while being treated for cancer, which is now in remission.
“Last year was one of the hardest years for myself and my family, and to receive this award off of the heels of that struggle makes this incredibly special,” said Marcou. “Having the support from the organization has made such an impact, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
The USPHL congratulates Mike Marcou on his second Coach Of The Year Award.
2017-18 Sean Tremblay, Islanders Hockey Club
2018-19 Ryan Frew, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
2019-20 Toby Harris, Jersey Hitmen and Mike Marcou, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders
2020-21 Drew Omicioli, South Shore Kings
2021-22 Toby Harris, Jersey Hitmen