The Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) has named former Los Angeles Jr. King Jared Pike, a senior forward for American International College (AIC), the winner of the 2019-20 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award.
The award was established by the HCA in honor of former Army player Derek Hines, who was a "consummate team player and team-builder." Hines played at Army from 1999-2003 and was a four-year letter-winner as well as a co-captain his senior season. He was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 1, 2005 in Afghanistan.
Said Pike, "It's an honor to receive such a prestigious award. Derek Hines was a champion at the game of life. Winning this award is a reflection of AIC Hockey and the culture we have built at this program. Again, I'm completely humbled to receive this award and all that it represents."
AIC head coach Eric Lang, who spent four seasons as an assistant coach at West Point, felt that Pike was an outstanding choice for this award.
"I couldn't think of a better recipient than Jared Pike for the Derek Hines Award," Lang said. "Having been around the Army West Point community and knowing, from a distance, all that Derek Hines stood for, Jared is the type of person that will make the Hines family proud. Jared encompasses team first, accountability, and commitment in every facet of his life. This is, in my opinion, one of the most prestigious awards in all of college sports. We are very proud of Jared and honored as a program."
Pike, a four-year letter-winner for AIC, was part of the first recruiting class in Lang's tenure at AIC. In his 144-game career, he scored 29 goals and added 15 assists for 44 points while providing strong physical play at both ends of the ice and an unmatched work ethic in games and practice.
That ethic continued in the community and classroom. Pike was part of a number of community service initiatives in his tenure at AIC, and additionally has been named a Krampade/American Hockey Coaches Association All-American Scholar in each of his first three seasons for which the award has been given.
The connection between Pike's commitment and discipline in all aspects of his life and the increased success of AIC's program in the last four seasons was not lost on the team's associate head coach Stephen Wiedler, who directly recruited Pike to AIC.
"Jared Pike epitomizes everything the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award embodies," Wiedler commented. "Time and time again, Jared has raised the standard of what it means to be an AIC Yellow Jacket through his competitive fire, accountability and team-first mentality. We are very proud of Jared for winning this distinguished award."
The HCA coordinates the award with nominations from each of the six Division I men's hockey conferences. The selection committee, made up of the six conference media contacts, Lt. Steve Hines, Derek's father, and Army West Point head coach Brian Riley, vote on the winner "who displays exemplary sportsmanship, is supremely competitive, intelligent and extraordinarily conditioned with an unmatched work ethic."