After 28 years as the University of New Hampshire Wildcats head coach, Dick Umile has called it a coaching career. The Melrose, Mass., native hands the reins to Wakefield, Mass., native Mike Souza. Umile amassed 596 coaching wins, third among Division 1 coaches still active. He led the Wildcats to the Frozen Four on four occasions with 18 NCAA tournament appearances, eight Hockey East regular-season championships, 20 seasons of 20 wins or more, and six Hockey East Coach of the Year awards. Umile sat down with New England Hockey Journal recently to reflect on his legendary career.
New England Hockey Journal: When you first came up here from Melrose as a player in 1969, did you have any idea that this place would become your home for so many years?
Dick Umile: No, I don’t think I ever realized that. Obviously, I always wanted to be a coach, a teacher-coach, after going to Melrose High School and playing sports in Melrose. I was a physical education major here at UNH, so I knew I wanted to be a coach. Did I ever think I was going to come back to UNH to be the head coach? It might have been a dream at some point. After coaching in high school for several years, I was hoping to get into college. It’s very difficult to become a head coach in Division 1, let alone at your alma mater.