Photo by Andrew Knapik/MiHockey

Andy Weidenbach named John Mariucci Award winner from AHCA

By @MichaelCaples –

Andy Weidenbach will be receiving a major honor from the American Hockey Coaches Association in April.

The long-time Cranbrook-Kingswood head coach has been named the 2020 recipient of the John Mariucci Award, presented annually to a secondary school coach “who best exemplifies the spirit, dedication and enthusiasm of the ‘Godfather of U.S. Hockey’” in Mariucci, the legendary head coach of Minnesota.

He is the first Michigan coach to receive the award since its creation in 1988.

Weidenbach retired last season after guiding Cranbrook to 10 state titles over 26 seasons. He finished with a career mark of 504-187-47 behind the bench for the Cranes.

Aside from coaching, he helped create and serve as president of the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League for 20 years, bringing together top programs from across the state for an elite high school hockey league. Along the way, he established the first pre-season high school hockey league in the state, as well as the first girls’ high school hockey league.

“Guys like Andy help each other out,” said Todd Johnson, long-time head coach of rival Catholic Central. “When they are in competition, they want to beat each other. But outside the competition, it is like, ‘What can we do to help each other become better?’”

Weidenbach coached for 41 years, starting at the bantam level and moving through the OHL and NAHL. With Detroit Compuware, he posted a 190-37-18 record, earning NAJHL Coach of the Year honors.

He also served as a skills coach for the Detroit Red Wings for the team’s rookie camp from 2008-2012.