And this year, John Jacobs, who has been involved in hockey in New Ulm since 1974 and has dedicated years to the sport, is the 2021 winner of the Tom Macho Award.
NEW ULM — He is known around the hockey rinks in New Ulm simply as “Jake.”
Jacobs will receive the award on Saturday between the first and second periods of the New Ulm-Minnesota River hockey game at the New Ulm Civic Center.
The award is given annually to someone who has been instrumental to the success of the New Ulm hockey program and to honor Tom Macho’s legacy as one of the founding members of New Ulm hockey.
Jacobs then coached at the PeeWee A level for the next 11 years. Many of his first 14 years he coached hockey was outdoor practices at Westside (now known as Harman Park). Home games then were played at Lund Arena at Gustavus Adolphus College.
Jacobs started out coaching in 1974 when he coached the Squirt program for three years. One of the highlights of coaching the squirts for Jacobs was the day that the players he coached at age 9 and 10 were able to finally play high school indoors at then-Vogel Arena in 1981.
Another one of Jacobs’ coaching highlights was watching all of his Squirts and PeeWee “rink rats” playing hockey outside.
The last six years of coaching for Jacobs has been spent with the Termite program. It was here where he was able to crystal ball and see the future of New Ulm hockey players taking their first steps onto the ice and beginning their hockey journeys.
In his coaching tenture, Jacobs has spent many of the years as a non-parent coach. Jacobs’ 20 years of dedication reflects on the person for whom the honored award is named after.
Macho became involved in hockey in New Ulm in the 1960s. He was an instrumental force in forming the New Ulm Hockey Association starting with an in-house squirt program along with PeeWee, Bantam and Midget traveling teams. He coached at every level of hockey in the early years. In 1975, hockey became a New Ulm High School sport and Macho was named its first head coach. He continued to coach high school hockey in New Ulm and Sleepy Eye for over 30 years.
In 2009, Tom was inducted into the Minnesota High School Association Hockey Hall of Fame. In all, Tom was a part of hockey in the New Ulm and Sleepy Eye area for over 40-plus years. His dedication and passion for the sport of hockey is appreciated.
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