WAKEFIELD, MASS. - University of New Hampshire head coach Dick Umile was presented the prestigious Hockey East Founders Medal tonight, prior to his home game vs. Vermont, becoming just the 12th individual so honored by the conference. Umile is retiring at the end of the current season, his 28th behind the Wildcats bench. He is only the second coach to be recognized by Hockey East, the first being legendary Boston University head coach Jack Parker, who was presented the award in 2014.
"I have had the pleasure of presenting all 12 of these awards and none have meant more to me than this one," said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna. "We were college opponents many years ago and we have been on the same team, so to speak, in trying to advance the interests of Hockey East and college hockey in general for more than two decades. His passion and his warmth as a unique individual will be missed by all of us when he retires."
Umile is synonymous with UNH hockey, having played under iconic coach Charlie Holt and serving as Holt's captain during the 1971-72 season. Umile is currently just four wins shy of 600, a rare accomplishment in NCAA coaching circles. His UNH teams have won or shared eight Hockey East regular season titles and two tournament championships. He has coached 30 All-Americans.
The Hockey East Founders Medal was established in 2009 upon the occasion of the 25th anniversary Hockey East season. The inaugural recipients were, fittingly, the five founding athletic directors who created the conference in the mid-1980s. In all, the award has been presented to five directors, three conference administrators, two administrators associated with the TD Garden (home of the Hockey East Championship) and two head coaches.