Lindenwood University’s Rick Zombo Named ACHA M1 Coach of the Year

Lindenwood University’s Rick Zombo Named American Collegiate Hockey Association Men’s Division I Coach of the Year


Lions Head Coach Wins Back-to-Back Awards and Third Overall in 12th Season


UNION LAKE, Mich. – (April 4, 2022) – The American Collegiate Hockey Association announced today that Lindenwood University Head Coach Rick Zombo has been named the 2022 Men’s Division I Coach of the Year, as selected by ACHA Men’s Division I head coaches.  This is the second consecutive ACHA Men’s Division I Coach of the Year Award, joining University of Rhode Island’s Joe Augustine as the only coaches to accomplish back-to-back wins.  Rick becomes the first three-time winner (2016, 2021, 2022) of the award and has been a finalist six times (2012, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022) including four of the past five seasons.


Zombo was chosen from a group of finalists that included University of Central Oklahoma’s Michael Rivera, John Hogan of Maryville University, Wyatt Waselenchuk of Minot State University, and Tom Mooradian of Niagara University.


The Lions finished the 2021-2022 season with a 22-3-0 record and qualified for the ACHA Men’s Division I Nationals Championships for the 18th consecutive season.  Lindenwood was undefeated in ACHA action.  The Lions’ only three losses came against NCAA Division I competition, at University of Denver and at home against United States Air Force Academy (twice).  After starting 6-3-0 overall to begin the season, the Lions finished with a 16-game winning streak and held the No.1 spot beginning November 17 for the rest of the season.


Despite having eight games postponed between January 7 and February 5, the Lions captured the Central States Collegiate Hockey League (CSCHL) Regular Season Championship as well as the CSCHL Playoff Championship for the fifth consecutive season by defeating Ohio University 6-1 and Iowa State University 8-1.


Zombo just completed his 12th season as head coach of the Lindenwood University Men’s Ice Hockey Team.  Zombo’s career record after 12 seasons stands at 280-96-18, including seven regular season CSCHL Championships, seven CSCHL Playoff Championships, and seven Men’s Division I National Championship semi-final appearances to go along with the 2016 and 2022 ACHA Men’s Division I National Championships.


In his first year as Lindenwood head coach, Zombo led the Lions to the finals of the ACHA Men’s Division I National Championships but came up just short of capturing the third straight title for the program, falling in overtime.  Since then, Lindenwood advanced to the semifinals in 2012 and the finals in 2013, before being bounced in the first round in 2014 and quarterfinals in 2015.


Prior to being elevated to head coach during the summer of 2010, Zombo was the assistant coach under former head coach Derek Schaub. Zombo was instrumental in directing defensive play and the recruiting process for the Lions. During his two seasons as assistant coach, Lindenwood won the CSCHL regular season and post season title once and also captured two ACHA Men’s Division I National Championships.


Before beginning his tenure at Lindenwood, Zombo spent a season as the head coach and general manager of the Heartland Eagles in the USHL and three seasons with the St. Louis Sting in the NAHL. He also coached Marquette High School in St. Louis for three seasons and headed up Team Missouri at the Chicago Showcase.


Before his coaching career, Zombo spent 12 seasons playing defense in the National Hockey League (NHL), including four years with the St. Louis Blues. He was selected 149th overall in the eighth round of the 1981 NHL entry draft by the Detroit Red Wings. He played for the Red Wings for eight seasons before being traded to the Blues early in the 1991-92 season. His final year in the NHL was during the 1995-96 campaign when he wore the Boston Bruins sweater. Zombo also spent parts of his first three professional seasons with the Adirondack Red Wings and won a Calder Cup with them in 1986.


Zombo finished his NHL career with 652 regular season games played, 24 career goals and 130 career assists. He also skated in 60 playoff games where he recorded one postseason goal and 11 assists.


While in college, Zombo was a three-time letter winner on defense with North Dakota from 1981-84. He won an NCAA National Championship in his freshman season and earned a spot on the United States National Team at the World Junior Hockey Championships during his sophomore season. He served as captain of the Fighting Sioux in his junior season and totaled 63 points in his college career at North Dakota.


Rick resides in Wildwood, Mo.  Rick has three children: Dominic, Jessica, and Garrett.



2021-2022 LINDENWOOD * $ # % 22 3 0 88.0%
2020-2021 LINDENWOOD * % 16 2 0 88.9%
2019-2020 LINDENWOOD * # % 27 7 0 79.4%
2018-2019 LINDENWOOD * # % 31 2 0 93.9%
2017-2018 LINDENWOOD * # % 27 6 4 78.4%
2016-2017 LINDENWOOD * 19 13 4 58.3%
2015-2016 LINDENWOOD * $ # 27 10 0 73.0%
2014-2015 LINDENWOOD * % 17 14 3 54.4%
2013-2014 LINDENWOOD * 15 18 2 45.7%
2012-2013 LINDENWOOD * & 16 13 4 54.5%
2011-2012 LINDENWOOD * # % 31 5 0 86.1%
2010-2011 LINDENWOOD * & # 32 3 1 90.3%
TOTALS 280 96 18 73.4%

$ = National Champions

& = National Runners-Up

* = National Championships Participant

# = CSCHL Regular Season Champions

% = CSCHL Playoff Champions



Recipients of the ACHA Men’s Division I Coach of the Year Award


2000                Joe Battista                             Penn State University

2001*              Josh Brandwene                     University of Delaware

2001*              Bob Zion                                 Eastern Michigan University

2002                Joe Battista                             Penn State University

2003                Chad Cassel                            University of Illinois

2004                Dan Morris                              Ohio University

2005                Joe Augustine                         University of Rhode Island

2006                Joe Augustine                         University of Rhode Island

2007                Scott Balboni                          Penn State University

2008                Chad Cassel                            University of Illinois

2009                Craig McAlister                       University of Central Oklahoma
2010                Jeremy Goltz                           Arizona State University

2011                Dan Phelps                              Adrian College

2012                M.F. Schurman                       University of Delaware

2013                Wade Regier                           Minot State University

2014                Greg Powers                           Arizona State University

2015                Craig McAlister                       University of Central Oklahoma

2016                Rick Zombo                             Lindenwood University

2017                Wade Regier                           Minot State University

2018                Gary Astalos                           Adrian College

2019                Chris Haltinner                       University of Michigan-Dearborn

2020                Kirk Handy                              Liberty University

2021                Rick Zombo                             Lindenwood University

2022                Rick Zombo                             Lindenwood University


*  Co-recipients


# # #


About American Collegiate Hockey Association

The American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) is a recognized 501(c)3 organization of almost 450 college and university-affiliated programs which provides structure, regulates operations, and promotes the quality of collegiate ice hockey throughout the United States.  Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, the ACHA’s primary mission is to support the growth and development of college hockey programs nationwide.  The ACHA identifies standards which serve to unite and regulate teams at the collegiate level and entered its 31st season in September 2021. For more information, visit