New Hampshire’s Umile just second coach to receive Hockey East founders medal

Dick Umile at UNH's Frozen Fenway practice on January 13, 2017. (Melissa Wade)
Dick Umile has spent 28 seasons as New Hampshire’s coach and is retiring at the end of the 2017-18 season (photo: Melissa Wade).

New Hampshire head coach Dick Umile was presented the prestigious Hockey East founders medal Saturday night prior to the Wildcats’ home game against Vermont, becoming just the 12th individual honored by the conference.

Umile is only the second coach to be recognized by Hockey East, with the first being legendary Boston University head coach Jack Parker, who was presented the award in 2014.

The Hockey East founders medal was established in 2009 upon the occasion of the 25th anniversary Hockey East season. The inaugural recipients were 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 and now, two head coaches.

“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 in a statement. “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, who is retiring at season’s end, is currently just four wins shy of 600, while his UNH teams have won or shared eight Hockey East regular-season titles and two tournament championships. He has coached 30 All-Americans.

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