The 2018-19 season will mark the 13th behind the UMass Boston bench for head coach Peter Belisle. Belisle ranks as the winningest coach in program history with 175 wins and eight consecutive winning seasons.
In 2015-16, Belisle became the first coach in school history to be named the National Coach of the Year, after being recognized as the Co-STX/American Hockey Coaches of America Division III Men’s Coach of the Year.
Belisle also was named the New England Hockey Conference Coach of the Year, after leading the Beacons’ to their best season to date. UMass Boston won their first regular season and conference tournaments since 1982, before earning their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The Beacons went on to shock the college hockey world by going on the road to defeating reigning NCAA Champion Trinity College and then knocking off the top-ranked team in the East in Hobart College.
UMass Boston’s run finally came to an end in the NCAA Frozen Four, as the Beacons fell 8-7 in double-overtime against national power St. Norbert College. The men’s hockey team became the first program in school history to reach an NCAA Tournament Final Four.
Belisle made more history in 2017-18 by coaching the first National Player of the Year in program history. Senior captain Colin Larkin earned both the Joe Concannon and Sid Watson Awards as the Regional and National Player of the Year. The Beacons as a program posted 17 total wins and 11 conference victories, to earn a return trip to the NEHC Semifinals.
While the Beacons took a step back during the 2016-17 season after graduating 10 players, Belisle and the Beacons still posted several highlights for the program. UMass Boston returned to Fenway Park on January 12 to face-off against rival Babson College. The Beacons easily dispatched the Beavers 5-1 to earn the program's first-ever, three-game winning streak against Babson.
Belisle also coached his first-ever Conference Player of the Year and second Rookie of the Year during the 2016-17 season. Junior Colin Larkin became the first player in program history to be named a Conference Player of the Year, while senior defenseman Tyler Bishop became the first two-time All-American in program history.
In the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, Belisle led the Beacons to 45-9-4 mark (.810 winning percentage).
The 2014-15 season saw the Beacons finish with the third-best record in program history (22-4-1) and their most-ever victories in conference play (16).
After opening the season with a program-record best 10-0-0 start, the Beacons set a new program standard in the national polls, when they were ranked #5 in the USCHO.com Poll on December 8.
The Beacons enjoyed another strong campaign in 2013-14. UMass Boston earned their highest to date national ranking at #6 in the D3Hockey.com Poll on January 13 and finished the year with a sparkling 17-6-4 record. Belisle's team picked up their second consecutive Codfish Bowl Title, earned a 4-2 victory over Salem State University at Fenway Park and set a new program record with a 14-game unbeaten streak and tied the program standard with an 11-game winning streak.
In 2012-13, Belisle led a Beacons squad comprised of 13 freshmen to one of the best season in program history at 19-6-2 and the team’s best finish in two decades, ending the regular season second in the ECAC East Conference.
He became the first coach in program history to be named ECAC East Conference Coach of the Year in March, before being honored as the New England Division II/III Coach of the Year by the New England Hockey Writer’s Association in April.
The 2012-13 season brought a series of firsts for the program under Belisle, including the team earning a spot in both national polls, coaching an ECAC East Rookie of the Year (Peter MacIntyre) and producing the program’s first All-American since 1992 (Rob Florentino).
The team’s success on the ice coincided with a strong run in the polls as well, as UMass Boston ended the year with a nine-week run in the USCHO.com and D3Hockey.com Polls, including rising as high as #9 in the D3Hockey.com poll on February 4.
UMass Boston knocked off the University of England in the ECAC East Quarterfinals to record the program’s first playoff victory since the 2008-09 season. With the win, Belisle moved into first place all-time in UMass Boston playoff history with his fourth career postseason victory.
In 2011-12, Belisle helped the Beacons make history twice as they upended two top-5 teams in less than month. He first led UMass Boston to a 2-1 win over previously unbeaten and top-ranked Norwich University. Less than three weeks later, lightning struck twice as Belisle's Beacons defeated fifth ranked Castleton State College. At the end of the year, Belisle saw senior netminder Kevin Bendel '12 earn ECAC East Goalie of the Year and First Team All-Conference honors. He also had two other players earn All-Conference honors.
During the 2010-11 season, Belisle guided the Beacons to a third place regular season finish in the ECAC East to secure the program's first home playoff game since the 1999-00 campaign. The team captured 15 wins for the highest total since the 1991-92 season while posting an above .500 mark for the first time since 1999-00.
Over his career, the UMass Boston mentor's hallmark has been motivating his teams to win the big games, including a road victory over nationally-ranked Middlebury College in 2008 for the second straight season and a 1-0 overtime road win over nationally-ranked Norwich University to become the first number eight seed to defeat a number one seed in ECAC East Tournament history in 2009. He followed that by directing the team to a semifinals win to land the Beacons in the ECAC East championship for the first time in school history.
Belisle became the program's 11th varsity head coach after spending nine years with Division I University of Connecticut as an assistant coach. The New England Native spent his first year of coaching with College of the Holy Cross, where he helped guide the Crusaders to their first playoff victory in 13 years. He returned to UConn the following season to help guide the program that he was once a part of as a four-year standout player. Belisle helped direct the Huskies to a 19-16-1 mark in 1999-2000, en-route to a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship in 2000 and was behind the bench for UConn's second 20-win season in 1998-99 when it put together a 20-10-4 mark, including an 18-6-4 record in MAAC play.
Prior to his joining the coaching ranks, Belisle was a four-year letter winner with the Huskies from 1991-95 as a forward. During his playing tenure at Storrs, UConn posted one of the greatest four-year periods in school-history with a 71-25-12 mark, including four ECAC playoff appearances. He is still the second all-time leading playoff goal scorer in Connecticut ice hockey history and during his junior season, was the recipient of UConn's 7th Player Award. During his career with the Huskies, he tallied 36 goals and 42 assists for a total of 78 points.
Belisle's coaching experience is not limited to his collegiate tenure, having instructed and been a coach at several of New England's premier hockey camps as well. He has served as a head instructor at the Connecticut Hockey Experience, the Learn to Skate Program at UConn, Bill Belisle's Hockey School, and the Mount Saint Charles Instructional Hockey Program and for the past three summers, Belisle coached at the USA Hockey Team New England Select 14 and Select 15 Player Development Camp.
Prior to his collegiate career, Belisle was a part of Mount Saint Charles Academy teams that captured the Rhode Island State championship twice and, during his junior season, the Mounties' success wasn't limited to the state level as they were crowned national champions as well.
The native of Manville, RI, graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business administration, management from UConn in 1995 and followed that with a master of arts degree in sport management in 1999 also at the Storrs campus.
Belisle currently resides in Cumberland, RI with his wife, Carrie, their daughters, Madeleine, Norah and Halle.