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Former men's hockey coach passes away

FORT GRATIOT, Mich. (July 22, 2009) -- Herb Hammond, who coached the Plattsburgh State men's hockey team in the 1980s, died Wednesday night at his home where he was surrounded by family and friends. He had been battling cancer.

Herb Hammond and the 1981 Cardinal men's hockey team

"The college hockey community has lost a great, caring individual who loved life. He will be missed," Bruce Delventhal, athletics director at Plattsburgh State, said. "On behalf of our athletic department, our thoughts and prayers go out to Herb's wife, Patti, and the family."

Hammond coached the Cardinals for two seasons from 1981-82, compiling a 52-17-4 record for a .740 winning percentage. He piloted the program to a pair of NCAA Division II championship game appearances and the 1982 State University of New York Athletic Conference co-title. He was named the 1981 Division III Coach of the Year by the American Hockey Coaches Association after the Cardinals went 27-4-2.

Before arriving in Plattsburgh, Hammond led Oswego to a 176-122-5 mark from 1969 to 1980.

Hammond also served as the head coach at Division I Brown from 1983 to 1988. His 20-year NCAA coaching record is 264-253-12.

Hammond then left coaching to become a scout in the National Hockey League for 11 seasons, helping the New York Rangers capture the 1994 Stanley Cup for the first time in over 50 years. He retired in 2000.

Effective during the 2008-09 campaign, the SUNYAC player of the year award was renamed the Herb Hammond Most Valuable Player of the Year Award, recognizing the contributions of one of the pioneers of the conference's most popular sport among fans. Plattsburgh sophomore goaltender Bryan Hince was the first recipient.

According to his obituary, the funeral service will take place at 1 p.m. Monday in the Smith Family Funeral Home at North, 1525 Hancock Street, Port Huron, Mich. A graveside committal service will follow in Lakeside Cemetery. Visitation will be Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m., Sunday from 2 to 4 and from 6 to 8 p.m., and on Monday beginning at noon.

Memorial contributions may be made to Coach Hammond Hockey Fund at SUNY Plattsburgh or SUNY Oswego. Mail SUNY donations to Patricia at 5823 San Juan Dr., Fort Gratiot, MI 48059 or Blue Water Hospice, 1430 Military St., Port Huron, MI 48060. To send online condolences please visit, www.smithfamilyfuneralhome.com.

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