Inside Rensselaer
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Garry Kearns ’58 To Join Hockey Ring of Honor

Former Rensselaer student-athlete and head men’s hockey coach Garry Kearns ’58 has been chosen to be the sixth inductee into Rensselaer’s exclusive Hockey Ring of Honor. Kearns will be recognized on Saturday, Feb. 12, during the Engineers game against Cornell University. Faceoff is 3:30 p.m.

“It is a tremendous honor to be added. I am very appreciative and humbled by the recognition,” said Kearns, who played for the Engineers from 1955 to 1958 and coached the team from 1964 to 1969. “RPI is a special place with special people who have certainly played a big part in my life.”

“We are excited to have Garry join the other members of our Ring of Honor,” said Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton. “He had a huge impact as a player and as a coach, and continues to support the program behind the scenes today.”

As a student-athlete, Kearns played for legendary coach Ned Harkness for three seasons (freshmen were not eligible to compete at that time). In 57 games, he scored 61 goals with 83 assists for 144 points. He also registered 42 penalties for 90 minutes in helping the team to a career record of 40-18-2.

Kearns, a native of Peterborough, Ontario, led the team in goals (26) and assists (32) and was first in the nation in points with 58 in 1955-56 on his way to earning National All-America First Team recognition. As a senior captain in 1957-58, he was first on the team in assists with 36.

He is sixth in school history with 2.53 points per game. He currently ranks 15th in single season assists (36 in 1957-58) and is in the top 25 in school history in both career assists and career points.

Following several years as an architect after graduation, Kearns came back to Rensselaer to coach in 1964, taking over the program after the unexpected departure of Rube Bjorkman, to return the program back to national prominence. Kearns, a member of the Rensselaer Athletics Hall of Fame, was behind the bench from 1964 until 1969, posting 44 victories and four ties in 111 games.

“It is great to see Garry Kearns be inducted into the Ring of Honor,” said current head coach Seth Appert. “He may be the most important person in the great history of our program, leaving his mark as a player, coach, and active alum.”
Kearns joins Adam Oates ’85, Joe Juneau ’91, Frank Chiarelli ’55, Bob Brinkworth ’64, and the aforementioned Harkness in the Ring of Honor, which is displayed in the Houston Field House.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 2, February 4, 2011
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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