NCHC hires Adam, current WCHA referee, as director of officials

Louisville Police Officer Don Adam is also a WCHA hockey referee. Adam was photographed at work Tuesday afternoon, June 12, 2012. Karl Gehring/The Denver Post

From NCHC media relations …

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) has announced that Don Adam will assume the role of Director of Officiating for the conference at the conclusion of the 2012-13 college hockey season.

NCHC men’s ice hockey will make its debut during the 2013-14 season with eight successful Division 1 programs- Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami University (Ohio), University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Nebraska at Omaha, University of North Dakota, St Cloud State University and Western Michigan University.

“We are excited about having Don Adam join the NCHC staff and look forward to having him assist us in overseeing the important officiating program,” said NCHC Commissioner Jim Scherr. “Don brings a proven level of on-ice and supervisory officiating expertise and his long term commitment to the college game is invaluable to our goals. Don’s hiring is another significant step for our conference as we move towards a new era in college hockey and the start of our new conference playing in 2013-14.”

Adam has served as one of the top NCAA Division I Ice Hockey officials in the nation for 24 seasons. As an on-ice official he has worked numerous WCHA championships, NCAA tournaments, and NCAA national championships. He was also selected by the International Ice Hockey Federation to officiate an impressive list of key international competitions which includes five World Championships, as well as the 1992 and 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France, and Nagano, Japan. Adam was also an NHL referee trainee for three seasons, as well as an NHL-contracted official for one season. He brings additional prior experience as the Director of Officiating for both the West Coast Hockey League and Roller Hockey International.  His reputation and involvement as a supervisor of officials for USA Hockey’s Officials Development Program to the professional hockey ranks reflects his commitment to ice hockey officiating at all levels for over 25 years.

“I am excited to join the staff of the NCHC and recognize this as a unique opportunity to positively contribute to what I believe will become one of the top conferences in the nation,” Adam said.  “I’ve had the good fortune to work with many of the NCHC’s coaches and administrators over the course of many seasons and, based upon my respect for them both personally and professionally, I look forward to continuing those relationships in the future.  Under the leadership of both Jim Scherr and Joe Novak, this opportunity will allow me to implement and develop an officiating staff that the NCHC will be proud of.”

Adam currently resides in Denver and is employed by the city of Louisville (CO) as a police officer, where he has served the public for the last nine years. Adam compares his two current professions and looks forward to applying his experiences to his new position: “Both professions require a lot of quick decisions in pressure-filled situations. Experience, judgment, common sense and clear communication are all huge factors in achieving success, and I’m excited to face the challenges that this new position will present me with.”

NCHC coaches are enthusiastic about the new conference executive:

George Gwozdecky- University of Denver– “For over two decades, Don Adam has been regarded as one of the top hockey officials in the NCAA. His leadership skills, organizational ability along with his experience will be a valuable asset to the conference and will assure that, under his direction, the league will receive the finest collegiate officiating available.”

Rico Blasi  – Miami University Ohio “It’s very exciting to have someone like Don with the knowledge and experience leading our on-ice officials.  Along with his experience, his communication skills make Don a great asset.”

Dean Blais – University Nebraska at Omaha- “Don Adam brings a wealth of experience in officiating to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.  Don, as Director of Officiating, will be active in evaluating, recruiting, coaching and directing our conference officiating staff according to NCAA rules and regulations. He is a great communicator and will have a lot of significant responsibilities with our new conference. We are all looking forward to his role and leadership with our officiating program.”

Dave Hakstol/ University of North Dakota– “Don is very well respected throughout college hockey. Over the years his officiating style has constantly evolved as changes have come to the way the game is played and he is very well equipped to build a quality staff of officials for the NCHC.”

And: “Don has always been the personification of an honest, well-prepared and knowledgeable official. What more can you ask for?”  – Lou Vairo 1984 United States Olympic Hockey Coach • Former Assistant Coach; New Jersey Devils (NHL) • Currently: Director, Special Projects; USA Hockey

Summary of Don Adam’s officiating career

 One year under contract as an NHL referee (1993-94).

Two Olympic Winter Games as a referee (1992 in Albertville, 1998 in Nagano).

Two NCAA Frozen Fours as a referee (1997 in Milwaukee, 2003 in Buffalo, N.Y.).

Director of Officiating for both the West Coast Hockey League and Roller Hockey International

USA Hockey Officiating Development Program staff member

22 years as a Western Collegiate Hockey Association referee (plus two as a linesman).

Friday reading: Previews, academic honors

Oklahoma City’s Ryan Keller and Abbotsford’s Brian Connelly battle for control of the puck during the first period of Thursday night’s American Hockey League game at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Henrik Karlsson, Calgary Flames No. 2 goalie, was in the nets for the Heat on a conditioning assignment. Photograph by: Gavin Young, Calgary Herald

Denver hopes the return of goalie Sam Brittain gives the Pioneers a chance at making a run and advancing to the NCAA Tournament. They host No. 1/2 Minnesota, which is coming off a bye week. The Pioneers have done well against the Gophers of late, prompting some concern in the Twin Cities.

Here is a CC at Bemidji State preview from the Beavers’ perspective and a preview capsule by the Gazette, which has reported Nick Dineen and Josh Thorimbert did not make the trip to Bemidji this weekend.

Alaska Anchorage hopes to get on a roll at home against MSU Mankato after beating then No, 1/2 Minnesota Duluth last weekend. Here’s an update on the purple Mavs.

All four UMD Hobey Baker winners will be honored during the No. 3 Bulldogs’ home game tonight against No. 16 North Dakota. Here is a profile of all four. North Dakota brought all its healthy players, giving Stephane Pattyn more ice time than expected this season.

This weekend’s series between visiting Nebraska Omaha and Michigan Tech could determine home playoff ice for both teams. Mix in a large Winter Carnival crowd and it’s Hot Times in Houghton, which this time of year means a high of 10 degrees Fahrenheit and a 90 percent chance of snow.

Here are Roman’s fearless WCHA predictions. The Minnesota Mr. Hockey finalists were announced.

Former Tiger Bill Sweatt is profiled by his hometown newspaper. Wisconsin’s Justin Schultz will be a hot commodity in the free agent market this summer if he chooses to eeave a year early.

Altogether a record 96 hockey players were named WCHA scholar-athletes on Thursday.

Here is the list as copied from wcha.com:

2011-12 WCHA Scholar-Athletes
****four-time recipient; ***three-time recipient; **two time recipient

Alaska Anchorage — Matt Bailey (So., F, Winnipeg, MB); Brett Cameron (So., F, Spruce Grove, AB); Chris Crowell** (Jr., F, Williams Lake, BC); Andrew Pickering (So., F, West Vancouver, BC); Jade Portwood (Sr., F, Victoria, BC); Dusan Sidor*** (Jr., G, Poprad, Slovakia).

Bemidji State — Drew Fisher** (Sr., F, International Falls, MN); Jamie MacQueen** (Sr., F, St. Thomas, ON).

Colorado College — David Civitarese*** (Sr., F, Calgary, AB).

Denver — Beau Bennett (So., F, Gardena, CA); Daniel Olszewski (So., F, Janesville, WI); Shawn Ostrow** (Jr., F, Calgary, AB); Paul Phillips** (Jr., D, Darien, IL).

Michigan Tech — Corson Cramer*** (Jr., G, Colorado Springs, CO); Kevin Genoe** (Jr.,G, Qualicum Beach, BC); Patrick McCadden (So., F, Chesterfield, MO); Brad Stebner (So., D, Fort McMurray, AB).

Minnesota — Zach Budish (So., F, Edina); Nate Condon (So. F, Wausau, Wis.); Jake Kremer **(Sr., G, Eden Prairie); Nick Larson (Sr.  F, Stillwater);  Taylor Matson (Sr.  F, Mound); Nico Sacchetti ** (Sr. F, Virginia).

Minnesota Duluth —  Aaron Crandall** (So., G, Lakeville, MN); Luke McManus (So., D, Apple Valley, MN); Kenny Reiter**** (Sr., G, Pittsburgh, PA).

Minnesota State Mankato — Cameron Cooper (Sr., D, Lakeville, MN); Tyler Elbrecht** (Jr., D, Edwardsville, IL); Evan Karambelas (Fr., G, Fort St. John, BC); Austin Lee**** (Sr., G, Bloomington, MN); Evan Mosey (Jr., D, Downers Grove, IL); Joe Schiller*** (Sr., F, Detroit Lakes, MN).

Nebraska Omaha — Bryce Aneloski (Jr., D, Pekin, IL); Fredrik Bergman** (Jr., G, Vienna, VA); Terry Broadhurst (Jr., F, Orland Park, IL); Kyle Ensign (Sr., D, New Richmond, WI); Zahn Raubenheimer (So., F, Smoky Lake, AB); Johnnie Searfoss (So., F, Colleyville, TX); Alex Simonson (So., F, Grand Forks, ND).

North Dakota — Brad Eidsness*** (Sr., G, Chestermere, AB); Dillon Simpson (So., D, Edmonton, AB).

St. Cloud State  — Jordy Christian*** (Sr., F, Moorhead, MN); Nic Dowd (So., F, Huntsville, AL); Kevin Gravel (So., D, Kingsford, MI); Ben Hanowski (Jr., F, Little Falls, MN); Nick Jensen (So., D, Rogers, MN); Drew LeBlanc*** (Sr., F, Hermantown, MN); Mike Lee** (Jr., G, Roseau, MN); Travis Novak*** (Sr., F, Lethbridge, AB).