|Hank Manz Named Wm. Thayer Tutt Award Recipient|
|Top volunteer honor awarded by USA Hockey|
|COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Hank Manz (Lexington, Massachusetts), who for more than a quarter century has positively impacted youth hockey in his hometown of Lexington, Massachusetts, has been named the recipient of the prestigious Wm. Thayer Tutt Award, it was announced by USA Hockey.|
The Wm. Thayer Tutt Award is presented annually by USA Hockey to a volunteer who, during many years of service, has displayed a selfless dedication to the enhancement of ice hockey at the grassroots level in America. It is the top volunteer honor awarded by USA Hockey each season.
The award is named in honor of the late William Thayer Tutt, who served as president of USA Hockey from 1972-86.
Manz got a late start to hockey, but has made the most of it since first being introduced to the sport while serving in the U.S. Navy. Manz, 77, was born in Evanston, Illinois, prior to moving east to New Haven, Connecticut, at the age of four.
While training for the Navy in California, some of his friends invited him to come skate and try the sport for the first.Manz spent many years moving around the country, with stops in Salt Lake City; Lincoln, Nebraska; Washington D.C.; and Boston prior to making Lexington, Massachusetts, his home.
After spending many years leading the local Little League program, Manz was asked to assist with the Lexington Bedford Youth Hockey program. It was there that Manz fell in love with the game all over again.
“Commish” has become Manz’s nickname around the rink, a title short of describing the hard work and countless hours he has dedicated to making hockey fun for everyone. He began coaching while his youngest son, Jonathan, played in the Lexington Bedford in-house league.
It took very little time before he was asked to run the in-house league, and eventually serve on the board of directors. None of the expanding role ever deterred Manz from waking up early to turn on the lights, set up the nets and work throughout the day to make sure everything ran smoothly.
Manz, a USA Hockey volunteer since 1994, created a unique league that emphasized fun. The league, now comprised of 16 teams, features boys and girls ages 5-11 of different skill and experience.
Manz’s goal for each season is that every team finishes with a .500 record. Prior to each season, he and the coaches come together and divide teams as evenly as possible. Teams play cross-ice mixed lines based on age and talent against other in-house teams.
At the conclusion of every year, a large 16-team tournament takes place with an even larger banquet, with all families invited. The last-place team is awarded an oversized anchor to highlight the amount of hard work and dedication the team displayed.
Manz continues to be involved in additional local hockey teams, as he continues to serve as the announcer for the boys and girls Lexington High School ice hockey teams. In addition to his work as a volunteer with the Lexington Bedford in-house ice hockey league, Manz volunteers on the town council, local boy scouts and eagle scouts, and has even served as grand marshal for the town’s Patriot’s Day parade.
Supporting his efforts in hockey is Hank’s wife Wendy, in addition to his three children Kathryn, Erin and Jonathan.