Home Merrimack Athletics Skinner to be awarded Hockey East Founder’s Medal

Skinner to be awarded Hockey East Founder’s Medal

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Merrimack College alum and former UMass Lowell athletic director Dana Skinner will be awarded the Hockey East Founder’s Medal at the 2019 Hockey East Championship.

Skinner, who retired from Lowell last year, has been working in the Merrimack athletic department as a special counsel to Merrimack AD Jeremy Gibson this season.

Skinner will be awarded the Founder’s Medal along with former Boston College associate AD Tom Peters, who oversaw the BC hockey program.

“Tom and Dana combined for nearly six decades of contributions to the advancement of Hockey East,” said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna. “The quality and length of their service to growing the conference are unparalleled in the history of Hockey East.”

Skinner was a Div. II All-American basketball player for Merrimack College and he graduated in 1978. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the third round (50th overall) of the NBA draft and played briefly for the Maine Lumberjacks of the Continental Basketball Association. He later became head coach of the New England Gulls of the Women’s Professional Basketball Association and earned a master’s degree in sports administration from St. Thomas University in Miami.

After more than three decades of leadership and service at UMass Lowell, including 23 years as director of intercollegiate athletics, Dana Skinner retired in September 2018. He recently led the university’s successful transition to NCAA Division I competition, a comprehensive five-year process that was formally completed last summer.

Skinner’s commitment to excellence was reflected in his focus on both sides of the “student-athlete” hyphen. Since joining the Division I America East Conference in 2013, UMass Lowell student-athletes have achieved a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher every semester.

A firm believer that sports can be used to promote positive social change, Skinner took pride in the River Hawks’ community engagement efforts with the Special Olympics, the National Youth Sports Program, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Team Impact.

A native of Danvers, MA, Skinner was a Division II All-American basketball player for Merrimack College, where he graduated in 1978. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the third round (50th overall) of the NBA draft and played briefly for the Maine Lumberjacks of the Continental Basketball Association. He later became head coach of the New England Gulls of the Women’s Professional Basketball Association and earned a master’s degree in sports administration from St. Thomas University in Miami.

The Hockey East Founders Medal was established in 2009 upon the occasion of the 25th anniversary Hockey East season. The inaugural recipients were, fittingly, the five founding athletic directors who created the conference in the mid-1980’s. In all, the award has been presented to seven institutional administrators, three conference administrators, two administrators associated with the TD Garden (home of the Hockey East Championship) and two head coaches.

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Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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