Successor named for legendary high school hockey coach

February 22, 2019

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) — One of the most accomplished high school hockey programs in the nation has its first new head coach in 44 years.

Mount Saint Charles Academy in Woonsocket, Rhode Island announced Thursday that current volunteer assistant Matthew Merten will succeed Normand “Bill” Belisle.

Belisle is retiring this year after 44 years behind the bench, 32 state championships and more than a 1,000 victories, a national record.

Merten played for Belisle, graduating from Mount Saint Charles in 1986. He played goalie at Providence College, was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks and played minor league hockey.

Merten teaches social studies at Nipmuc Regional High School in Upton, Massachusetts, where he founded a club hockey program.