Umile to Retire After One More Season
Assistant Souza Will Take Over
CHN Staff Report
New Hampshire ended speculation of long-time coach Dick Umile's impending retirement today, saying he will stay for the 2017-18 season then hand the reins to assistant coach Mike Souza.
Souza is a UNH alumnus who played for Umile.
“Coach Umile and I spoke about how this next season will be spent continuing the effort to re-build UNH hockey into a national caliber program that competes in the NCAA tournament and the Frozen Four,” UNH athletic director Marty Scarano said. “That has been, and always will be, our aspiration. We are fortunate to have Mike Souza here changing the culture in recruiting and gaining more invaluable experience.”
Said Umile, “I’m excited to come back for the final season of my contract and still have a strong desire to win. With a strong nucleus returning and exciting newcomers on the way, we are determined to get UNH hockey back to the level of annually competing in the NCAA tournament.”
New Hampshire had a remarkable run of his success during Umile's 27-year tenure, but has now failed to make the NCAAs the last four seasons. This year, the Wildcats finished 15-20-5, losing in three games in the Hockey East quarterfinals.
Umile is ranked ninth all-time and fourth among active Division I head coaches in victories (586), and his .611 winning percentage ranks 11th among active D-I coaches. In his time at UNH, the Wildcats have reached the NCAA tournament 18 times and appeared in four Frozen Fours (1998, ’99, 2002, ’03), including national championship game appearances in 1999 and 2003.
“Dick Umile is one of collegiate hockey’s iconic coaches and, in many ways, is in fact ‘UNH Hockey’,” Scarano said. “I am confident next season will be one in which we build from within, make inroads in recruiting and continue to bolster an exciting future.”
In the Umile Era, UNH has won eight Hockey East regular-season titles (1992, ’97, ’99, 2002, ’03, ’07, ’08, ’10), won two HEA championships (’02,’03) and have eclipsed 20 victories in 20 of his 27 years, highlighted by a school-record 31-win campaign in 1998-99.
The 1994 UNH Hall of Fame inductee is a six-time Hockey East Coach of the Year (1991, ’97, ’99, 2002, ’07, ’10), four-time New England Coach of the Year (1991, ’99, 2002, ’08) and won the Spencer T. Penrose Memorial Trophy as the nation’s top Division I coach in 1999.
As a Wildcat player from 1969-72, Umile scored 60 goals and tabulated 84 assists for 144 points in 87 games. He is ranked 12th all-time in points per game (1.66) in University history.
Souza, a 2000 UNH graduate, has been an associate head coach at his alma mater for two seasons. He assists in all aspects of the program, with a focus on power plays and directing recruiting efforts. Previously, he spent two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Connecticut for head coach Mike Cavanaugh. Souza began his coaching career with a two-year stint (2011-13) at Brown University as an assistant coach.
Souza graduated from UNH after a decorated four-year career with the Wildcats from 1996-2000. During that time, the squad reached two Frozen Fours, including the national championship game against the University of Maine in 1999. In 1999-2000, Souza won the Jim Urquhart Award as Student-Athlete of the Year, which is the highest honor bestowed upon a graduating student-athlete at UNH.
Souza, the 67th overall selection in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, played professionally in the American Hockey League and East Coast Hockey League from 2000-05, and he played six additional seasons (2005-11) in Europe.