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USA Hockey Walter Yaciuk Award - Jim Clare

By USA Hockey, 06/08/24, 4:45PM CDT


Jim Clare was involved in youth hockey and coaching education both in  Illinois and at the national level for over 25 years. 

A native of Weymouth, Massachusetts, Clare played youth hockey in the Boston area before going on to play NCAA Division I hockey at West Point. He spent seven years as a captain in the Army before retiring in 1994. 

Clare moved to Illinois and shortly after began his involvement with Amateur Hockey Association Illinois (AHAI) in 1998 when his oldest son started playing youth hockey.

Clare coached every level from 6U to 14U for Sabre Hockey Association in Naperville, Illinois, as his three sons progressed through the program. He also coached the Sabres’ girls 19U team for five years. From 2003-16, Clare served on the Sabres’ board of directors, including a ten-year stint as the club’s president from 2006-16.

In 2010, Clare joined the AHAI board of directors, where he served as vice president of membership. During his time there, Clare was part of nearly every AHAI committee over the years, including Try Hockey for Free, the suspension/review committee, and the A Step Ahead concussion prevention committee, among others. 

Clare’s dedication to inclusion and growing the game was evident throughout his career. He also organized coaching clinics specifically for coaches in the disabled hockey section and played a role in the growth of the AHAI special hockey program.