ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Legendary coach Charlie Holt of the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team (1968-86) was honored as the Hobey Baker Legend of College Hockey at the 2010 Hobey Baker awards banquet at 317 On Rice Park on Thursday, May 6.
Head coach Dick Umile, athletic director Marty Scarano, Holt's son Brad Holt as well as other members of Holt's family were on hand to accept the award for the late Holt, who passed away in March of 2000.
The following feature by Mackenzie Fraser, UNH '12, appeared in the Hobey Baker awards banquet program.
Charlie Holt has without a doubt left a lasting impression on the college hockey world. Although he never thought of himself to be great, those he worked with and those that admired him certainly did.
“He never talked about winning,” said University of New Hampshire head coach Dick Umile. “He talked about playing the game.”
This says a lot about the true values that Holt coached by, what he strived for and how he ruled other aspects of his life. The way he led teams on the ice was carried into his personal life. Holt was an excellent father, friend, and made his mark in coaching student athletes.
Holt would help players get their equipment into the locker room, sharpen skates and was even spotted behind the wheel of the Zamboni. His day certainly did not end when the final horn sounded in the third period. His outstanding work ethic and his commitment to excellence are what leave his name echoing in the halls of college coaching legends.
“My dad once said 'I can't imagine I get paid to do this,'” said Holt's daughter Brenda Holt-Mullaney. “He loved being surrounded by student-athletes.”
As the recipient of the 2010 Hobey Baker Legend of Hockey award Charlie Holt was recognized for his lengthy and outstanding service to college hockey. He will be recognized for his commitment at this years Hobey Baker Memorial award banquet on May, 6 2010 in St. Paul Minn. Holt will be honored along with this years Hobey Baker award winner Blake Geoffrion from the University of Wisconsin.
Even though Holt is remembered for many things including his trademark fedora, he is best remembered as a player, coach and innovator of the game of hockey. To some he is considered a student of the game. Many even say he was a visionary, utilizing strategies that had his UNH teams ahead of their time.
However, Holt remained humble to compliments about the proficiency of his coaching because of his modesty and his beliefs that coaching was just as important as being a good husband and father.
“He had a knack for listening and giving advice, he looked at each athlete as a whole person, instead of just a player,” said Holt-Mullaney.
Holt's coaching persona can be described as modest and giving. Holt understood that it took more than talent to be a great asset to the team, and surely carried this idea over into his own life.
Holt started his collegiate coaching career in 1962 with a six-year stretch leading Colby College in Maine. He then made the move to Durham in 1968 steering the University of New Hampshire Wildcats to a 22-win season. He would remain with the Wildcats through the 1985-86 season, posting a total of 347 career wins at UNH in his 18 years behind the Wildcat bench.
In the 1968-69 season, Holt's first season coaching the Wildcats, UNH finished 22-6-1, the first of 11 20-win seasons he recorded in Durham. In 1976-77, the 'Cats recorded a then-school record 27 wins and earned the program's first NCAA tournament berth. The Wildcats would go on to make three more NCAA appearances in the next five seasons under Holt's tutelage. In 1978-79, UNH went 22-10-3 and captured the ECAC championship with a 3-2 win over Dartmouth at the Boston Garden.
Throughout his entire coaching career, Holt earned 412 total college hockey victories placing him 20th all-time in the collegiate ranks. He led the Wildcats to the ECAC playoffs 14 times, the NCAA playoffs four times, while also making three Frozen Four appearances ('77, '79, '82).
Holt coached eight All-Americans at UNH, including two-time selections Gordie Clark (1974, 1975), Jamie Hislop (1975, 1976) and Ralph Cox (1977, 1978). To this day, Cox still stands as the program's all-time scoring leader with 243 career points.
Holt was honored for many of his accomplishments over his lifetime. He was recognized by his peers with the Spencer Penrose Award as college hockey's top coach in 1969, 1974 and 1979. He was also inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997. After his passing away in 2000 has was inducted into the New Hampshire Hockey Hall of Fame and the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002 and 2006 respectively.
Holt touched the lives of many over his illustrious career and due to his humble nature he never took credit for all of his great accomplishments.
Photos by David Swanson.