Wally Tafe, Jr.
Talk to Wally about his hometown coaching career and you’re apt to hear him tell you that he is the answer to the trivia question: Who is the only man, over 27 years, who coached varsity boy’s hockey at all three Manchester’s public high schools and won five State titles?
2 seasons West (1966-67 and 1967-68)
9 seasons Central (1979-80 to 1987-88)
16 seasons Memorial (1988-89 to 2003-04)
Central 1980, 1981
Memorial 1989, 1991, 1995
Wally’s teams, by the time he retired as coach in 2004, had accumulated 356 wins.
Born, raised and schooled in Manchester, Wally also spent 35 years as an educator, teaching business education at both West and Central high schools. He retired in 2002. The interesting facet to his dedicated career is that for the entire 16 years he had the hockey helm at Manchester Memorial HS, he was teaching across town at Manchester Central HS, his alma mater. He was class of 1958.
Wally also, in 1984, coached the Manchester Flames to the National Junior “Cs” Championship. Jeff Serowik, one of today’s inductees, was a defenseman on that team.
Wally traces his keen hockey interest to age 5 when he began skating. Later, came the outdoor games on Lake Massabesic and Dorr’s Pond. During his high school years, though, Central HS had no hockey program but his enthusiasm never waned.
In the fall of 1958, he enrolled at Brewster Academy where, under the tutelage of Paul “Pop” Whalen-another of today’s inductees-he finally was able to use those natural hockey skills as a varsity player. He also captained the baseball team to the 1959 Prep School Championship.
In the fall of 1959, Wally enrolled at Providence College and graduated in 1963. He played varsity baseball there but not hockey. Three years after leaving Providence College he arrived back in Manchester and began crafting his enviable coaching and teaching record.
Notable bits and pieces: won New England Intermediate Golf Championship (1959); NH Hockey Coach of the Year (1991); coach on the All-NH Millennium Team (1991); inducted Queen City Hall of Fame (1999).
He and his wife Alice live in Manchester. They have three children: Matthew, Michael and Melanie; and 5 grandchildren.