March 15, 2013
Steve Nazro (left) and Jim Prior will receive Hockey East Founders Medals on March 22
WAKEFIELD, Mass. - Two men who have made unique contributions to the growth and development of the Hockey East Association will be honored with the presentation of the Hockey East Founders Medal during the Hockey East Championship at the TD Garden. Steve Nazro, TD Garden Vice President for Events, and Jim Prior, long time public address announcer for Boston University and both the Hockey East and Beanpot tournaments, will receive their medals just prior to the second Hockey East semifinal (8pm) on Friday, March 22.
"It gives me great pleasure to make this announcement as I have known both of these individuals for a long time and, along with the rest of the conference and I have been a direct beneficiary of their contributions," said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna in announcing these recipients. "Not only have they brought unique talents to their efforts but they have done so with such obvious passion and commitment that they have helped shape how Hockey East is presented to the public at large."
The Hockey East Founders Medal was established in 2009 as part of the Hockey East 25th anniversary celebration. That year, the inaugural medals were presented during the Hockey East Championship to the five founding athletic directors: Irwin Cohen of Northeastern, Bill Flynn of Boston College, Lou Lamoriello of Providence College, Andy Mooradian of the University of New Hampshire and John Simpson of Boston University. Two years later, the sixth, seventh and eighth medals were presented to former Hockey East commissioners Stu Haskell and Bob DeGregorio and former Hockey East Supervisor of Officials Brendan Sheehy.
Steve Nazro was born in Arlington, Massachusetts, moved to New Hampshire prior to high school, then graduated from Dartmouth College. Upon completion of two years in the Army, he found out about a position at the Boston Garden as Group Sales Director. Under legendary Garden President Eddie Powers, he began learning the sports and entertainment business, as he has observed, "from the very bottom on up."
"From the mid-seventies my responsibilities included booking all the events for the old Garden and the new facility, said Nazro. "Operationally, I have overall responsibility for amateur sports including Hockey East, the Beanpot and high school sports. Maximizing the ticket sales, promoting the tournaments and providing memorable student experiences have become my mission and my passion."
Jim Prior joined Hockey East in a formal capacity at the start of the 2000-2001 season as the Coordinator of Minor Officials, assigning goal judges to men's and women's regular season and tournament games. Long before the creation of that position, Prior, or at least his voice, was known to thousands of hockey fans across New England from his public address work at Boston University along with the Hockey East, Beanpot and Massachusetts High School hockey tournaments. He has served as the Terriers' public address announcer for the last 26 seasons.
He has also filled in at numerous area high school and college games and also worked the NCAA Regionals, along with 1998 and 2004 NCAA Frozen Four events at the Garden. His familiar, "Let's play hockey," preceding the opening face-off, has been copied by many amateur hockey announcers in the area.
The Hockey East Association is a 10-team Division I college men's hockey conference founded in 1984 and an eight-team
Division I women's league which began play in 2002-03. The men's league has won eight NCAA championships in the past 20 years.
Since 1999, Hockey East has won six NCAA Championships and have placed 20 teams in the Frozen Four, along with 53 teams in
the NCAA Tournament.