Brent Ullom showed up to the first student Ice Hockey Club meeting at the University of Alabama claiming that he simply “had to be a part of this”. All of the boys would have a number of challenges to face. Hockey wasn’t unheard of in Alabama, but getting the financial and organizational foundations set up at UA would be a daunting task. Brent, with foot cancer in remission, had other hurdles ahead.
General Manager Buddy Damaré remembers how Ullom had to have a customized foot brace to allow him to skate again after his struggle. “He was the kid that would make every practice no matter what. He had a true love of Bama Hockey, the University of Alabama and the game of hockey.” The first game in Frozen Tide history against Vanderbilt was memorable to each UA player. He dressed out, but overcome by the injury in his foot, Brent felt as though he couldn’t contribute. He didn’t touch the ice.
The next evening, Ullom said “I have to play tonight. I have to be a part of Bama Hockey.” That night Brent took to the ice at the Pelham Civic Complex for two shifts on defense. He would never play another game for the rest of his life.
The cancer in Brent’s foot came out of remission. As he struggled through chemotherapy, he still made every practice. The treatments and illness inevitably made it impossible for Ullom to skate and he became an assistant coach, still dedicated to building the program at the University. Until Brent had to seek out help for his condition elsewhere, he showed true dedication to the Frozen Tide.
The Bama Hockey family is proud to have been impacted by such a wonderful individual. It is in the spirit of Brent Ullom that our organization exists to provide young athletes at the University of Alabama the opportunity to play such a incredible game throughout their collegiate endeavors. Every year, the Frozen Tide players vote to select one teammate to receive the Brent Ullom Award. This player best represents the commitment to his team, his school and the game he loves to play.
University of Alabama Frozen Tide players honored by the Brent Ullom Award:
- Tedd Meyer 2006-2007
- Forrest Merrill 2007-2008
- Andrew Santi 2008-2009
- Jonathan Holston 2009-2010
- Ryan Barletta 2010-2011
- Kevin Davis 2012-2013