WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Longtime Mount Saint Charles Academy hockey coach Bill Belisle has died at the age of 92.
Belisle, who was the head coach of the Catholic high school’s hockey program for more than four decades, passed away Wednesday afternoon.
Belisle graduated from MSC back in 1948 and was named head coach in 1975. During his tenure, Belisle recorded 1,000 wins and guided the Mounties to 32 state championships, including 26 consecutive titles.
In a social media post Wednesday evening, MSC described Belisle as the heart of the school’s hockey program.
The U.S. Hall of Fame coach called it a career back in February 2019, when he coached his last game before retirement.
“Personally, I remember Bill from my time as a student, then as a teacher and coach, and again when I returned to Mount as president,” MSC President Alan Tenreiro said. “He was always there as a guide and was an exceptional mentor to students and staff, and to family and friends. The world has lost one of its greatest coaches, and Mount will feel the loss for decades to come.”
Dave Capuano, a former Mountie, called Belisle “the G.O.A.T.”
“I think he’s the true G.O.A.T., I really do,” he said. “What he accomplished in this state, how many kids’ lives that he touched … It’s a sad day, but celebrating his life is a wonderful thing.”
Capuano is one of more than 20 Mounties coached by Belisle to be drafted into the NHL.
“People were jealous of the 26 [wins] in a row, and Mount Saint Charles always winning,” Capuano said. “I think that people had such an amount of respect for him and the whole Belisle family … He was a really funny guy and just a great family guy and all-in-all, he had so many great traits to him.”
It’s Belisle’s legacy that Capuano believes the former coach would be most proud of.
“Hopefully he’s cracking open a Heineken and seeing what everybody’s saying about him and his family,” Capuano said.
It’s unclear at this time how Belisle died. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.