One of the top 50 point-getters in University of New Hampshire history, Dana Barbin is one of the most gifted offensive players in New Hampshire hockey history.
“One of the things for me is that I’ve been out of UNH for a long time, Class of ’81, and I’ve been coaching for 25 years at Exeter, so I don’t think about my former playing days that much anymore,” he said. “But when I look back I have wonderful memories of my teammates, coaches and all the different people in my life that have impacted my hockey, and most importantly, my life.”
One of only three natives of the Granite State to tally 100 or more points for the Wildcats – joining Frank Roy and the recently graduated Paul Thompson – Barbin grew up playing his hockey not far from Durham. An Exeter Youth Hockey alumnus, Barbin began his high school career in 1972 at Exeter High School, where he played varsity hockey for four seasons and helping the Blue Hawks to the state title game as a junior in 1975. And while Exeter fell to the powerful Mountaineers of Berlin, 5-3 – Barbin had one of the three goals – he was instrumental in captaining the Blue Hawks all the way back to the semifinals the following season.
A tremendously gifted three-sport athlete, Barbin also suited up for the football and baseball teams, where he was captain and MVP in football. As a sophomore quarterback, Barbin scored three touchdowns in a game against Manchester West, breaking a 6-6 tie wide open and giving the Blue Hawks a 26-6 victory at historic Gill Stadium. As a senior, Barbin played in the annual New Hampshire-Vermont Shrine Game.
After graduating from Exeter in 1976, Barbin attended Kent School in Connecticut for a post-graduate year. He dominated the prep school scene, garnering MVP honors in football, hockey and baseball before attending Durham in the fall of 1977.
In four seasons of hockey with the Division I Wildcats, Barbin racked up 127 points (40 g, 87 a) in 125 games, which currently puts him 44th on UNH’s all-time points list. The ‘Cats accumulated a record of 71-53-4, winning the Hockey East championship as a sophomore in 1979. He was a co-captain during his senior year and was selected as the team’s “Unsung Hero Award” winner.
Barbin continued his hockey career at the professional level, playing in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the Herlev Ishockey Klub from 1981-84. Coached by UNH Hall of Famer Richard David, Barbin played with former UNH teammate Frank Barth and the three combined to help win the 1984 Elite Series Gold Medal.
He also played in Sweden for Kristianstad Ishockey Klub in 1984-85, and was the player/coach for the Rungsted Ishockey Klub in Horsholm, Denmark, from 1985-87. He also served as co-coach to the Danish National Team with Frank Barth during that same time period.
Barbin returned to the United States in 1987, where he was employed by Phillips Exeter Academy in his hometown of Exeter. He was the Athletic Director from 1989-99, and has been the varsity boys’ hockey coach for the Big Red since 1992.
In 19 seasons with Phillips Exeter, he’s amassed a staggering win-loss record of 386-175-30. He guided the Big Red to the 1999 Division I New England championship with a record of 30-3-0, and was named Coach of the Year for his efforts. Eleven of Barbin’s former players have been drafted into the NHL.