Normand “Bill” Belisle has earned a national reputation as the winningest high school hockey coach in the country. His Mount Saint Charles Academy teams set a national record by winning 26 straight state championships between 1978 and 2003.
Bill was born in Manville and still makes his home there. He attended St. James Parish School and was a member of the Class of 1948 at Mount Saint Charles Academy. While at Mount, Bill played baseball and hockey. In his junior year the hockey team won the state championship.
Belisle is a veteran of the Korean War attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. He returned to northern Rhode Island and married his wife Yvette and raised four sons. He served his community for more than 20 years as a volunteer fireman.
In 1954, Bill began his coaching career, first with the Manville CYO junior high baseball team, which won the diocesan, state, and New England championships, the first ever for a parochial school. Later he organized the first Little League farm team in Manville.
In 1974, Bill became manager of the Brother Adelard Arena at Mount and one year later began his illustrious career as head coach of the hockey team. In the 29 years since assuming that position, Bill Belisle has become a legend among boys hockey teams in the United States. His record is incredible: 755 wins, 99 losses and 24 ties. That is a .860 winning percentage!
Bill’s accomplishments and honors are many. They include 100 consecutive wins in Interscholastic League games and exhibitions, 94 consecutive victories in the Metropolitan “A” Division, 86 consecutive games without a loss in the Interscholastic League games schedule, and rated number 1 high school hockey team in the nation for 10 consecutive years (1979-1989).
Belisle’s many honors include R.I. Schoolboy Coach of the Year, he was elected to the R.I. Heritage Hall of Fame, the Woonsocket Heritage Hall of Fame, and received the Cumberland-Lincoln Rotary Club Outstanding Achievement Award. He was the first Rhode Island high school hockey coach to receive the Mariucci Award from the American Hockey Coaches Association. Belisle and his Mount team were featured in a January 1985 Sports Illustrated article, in Rhode Island Monthly magazine in February 1989, and the New England Sports Network rated the 1996 Mount hockey team as the number one team in New England.
Bill Belisle has left a precious heritage of his work with a generation of young student-athletes. He has instilled his players with pride, competitiveness, sportsmanship and fair play.