Howard A. Crins '29
Year Inducted: 1982
Howard A. Crins ’29 experienced the dream of every coach in 1966 when his Cranston East hockey team went through the season undefeated and then took the league, state, and New England championships. The final record of that club was 29-1-1. That team featured two future Brown stars, Curt Bennett ’70 and Rich McLaughlin ’70, and a pair who “got away” to Harvard, Joey Cavanaugh and Danny DeMichele. Cranston defeated both the Brown and Dartmouth freshman and lost 4-3 to Yale on a night when Curt Bennett was not with the club. Bennett, Cavanaugh, and DeMichele went on to gain All-American honors at the college level. Crins became hockey coach at Cranston East in 1955, at a point when there was talk of dropping the sport because of the school’s poor record over several years. During his first year, Cranston beat every team in the league at least once and finished third in the state playoffs. By 1960, Coach Crins guided his team to a tie for the Metropolitan title, which the sextet then took outright the next season while finishing second in the state finals. Howie Crins experienced a bittersweet seasons in 1964 when his team won both the league and state championships but bowed to St. Dominics of Maine in the New England finals. “Ironically, it was St. Dominics we beat in 1966 for the New England championship,” Crins says. Crins, who had been physical education instructor at Cranston East for 36 years when he retired in 1973, gave up high school coaching after the 1966 season and became assistant hockey coach at Brown under Jim Fullerton for three years and then under Allan Soares for several more seasons.” I thank god I had Howie as an assistant,” Coach Fullerton says. “He has a brilliant hockey mind and could see things happening on the ice that few coaches ever detect.” Although small in his college days (5-7, 160), Crins was an aggressive center on a line with Eddie Crane and Ed Ahern. He was a sparkplug whose spirited leadership helped bring Brown its first winning season (since 1898) in 1928-29. Howie Crins is a member of the American Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame.