The Dick Umile hockey story is packed with 50-carat nuggets, gathered first when he was a player, then later a coach. For instance, during his sophomore, junior and senior high school years at Melrose, Massachusetts, the hockey team won three straight Middlesex League hockey titles-not an easy feat given the talent found in that league. There also were appearances in the state and New England hockey tournaments. In his senior year, he skated as team captain and after a stellar season was named to the All-Scholastic (ie, All State) team.
Then came the fall of 1967. Dick drove an hour north to Durham and over the next four years at UNH enlarged his rink reputation. Some notable moments: received as a sophomore the Roger LeClerc Trophy (MVP); elected senior team captain; played 87 career games, with 60 goals/84 assists.
Then began his outstanding coaching career. After graduation (1972), he landed at Wakefield (MA) High School for one year as an assistant, moving over to Melrose (MA) High School for one year as freshman coach and then on to Watertown (MA) High School as head coach for 11 seasons. Along the way, he won two Middlesex League titles and a Division I Coach of the Year award (1984) from the Boston Globe. He also, for two years, scouted for the NHL’s St. Louis Blues and eventually moved on to Providence College as an assistant for two seasons.
Then came the magical moment. In 1988, Dick returned to Durham, becoming an assistant and later the associate head coach under the late Bob Kullen. Then Dick, on December 6, 1990, was named the 12th UNH head hockey coach. His 19th season is about to begin.
During his first 18 years, Dick fashioned the UNH hockey program into a premiere Division I winter attraction. There have been 18 Hockey East championship tournaments, 14 NCAA tournaments and four Frozen Four appearances. For 17 years-13 of them consecutive-his teams have won at least 20 games. His career record of wins/losses/ties is 444-220-71, ranking him numero uno at UNH, far ahead of the fabled Charlie Holt who won 347 games and ranks #2.
Dick also has coached eight Hobey Baker finalists and one winner; 23 All-Americas; plus 12 players have reached the National Hockey League. Among active NCAA coaches, he ranks third with a .653 winning percentage and his 444 victories rank him eighth among all NCAA hockey coaches. He has been named Coach of the Year 10 times, New England Coach of the Year four times, and Hockey East Coach of the Year five times (an all-time league best.)
Dick and his wife, Rose, have three daughters: Katie, Kristin (Haggerty) and Courtney (Cook), and seven grandchildren.