Concord hockey’s Dunc Walsh is more than just a master coach, but a generational mentor

In its various definitions, most social scientists have concluded that a generation is defined by 15-30 years at a time.

A lot is happening within that time frame as the world continues to revolve around its axis. Changes throughout society happen in all sorts of ways: fashion, hairstyles, manners, music, slang. You understand the point. Things change, people change.

But the old cliché that the more things change, the more they stay the same? Well, look no further than Concord’s own Dunc Walsh. He has run the Concord High boys hockey program since 1990, and during his tenure he has elevated it from a highly regarded juggernaut.

The Crimson Tide has been to 14 championships and won nine of them with Walsh behind the bench. His career record – 537-184-22 and counting – proves two truths: winning is the standard, and hockey gloss skates throughout the capital.

Prior to the season Monitor sat down with the honored coach in a one-on-one to show what the team would look like this season. Where were the strengths and weaknesses, and how far could it go. Although it never gets old to win on the ice, playing for Walsh is only a four-year guarantee – and that is if you get on the team.

His legacy is much more than just a respected, championship-winning coach. He is a mentor, a counselor, a joker, and for those who have finished playing under his guidance, he is a friend who helped shape one of the most educational parts of a young man’s life.

Walsh’s former players are scattered throughout the state and region, but most of them are still at home and all keep in touch with their old coach in some way. At 32, Walsh has seen a generation of players go from immature boys to respected men, and he deliberately sharpened their hockey skills.

What he has done unconsciously, however, carries more weight than any trophy could carry, as he has shaped and shaped members of society into standouts.

Moments forever ingrained in the plan of life for former Concord players.

Mike Commerford

Commerford was part of Walsh’s first Concord championship team and holds the career record for points (198) and goals (105).

“He’s played a big role, I think more than he knows. I try to tell him sometimes when we’re having a serious moment. There’s a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, but every now and then we want a serious moment. , and I try to tell him how grateful I am for his mentorship. ”

“I think from him, he has always demanded that you do your best. When you go through life and take on jobs and opportunities, you realize that wherever you go and if you want to be successful, you have to you demand the best of yourself. And it’s something that he instills in everyone, and especially me, as I have evolved through my adult life. ”

“He means a lot to me, more than I could tell him. He comes out to a lot of people like a funny, light-hearted person off the rink. For me, because I came in when he was so young and just started, I feel like “that we kind of grew up together. I would say it was English class in eleventh grade and we were going to make an abstract paper and I just remember writing about Dunc.”

“He has always had a special place in my heart.”

Tim Walsh

Walsh was a striker for three seasons at Concord from 1993-1995. After a career at UNH, Walsh became coach Bow High, where he regularly seeks out his old coach despite playing against each other.

“At least twice a week, Dunc came in to sit and talk to us in the back locker room with the older guys for 45 minutes to an hour. And it was not even about hockey, it was the other things. You get closer to your players. “and you get to know what’s really going on. I think it went on to know that Dunc cared about us and he cared about the program in general.”

“I worked with Dunc at Everett Arena every summer while in college. Many people do not know, but my first game (at UNH) was in January of my freshman year. I did not expect to play my first year, but things happen like guys get hurt and so they needed me to play.So my first game was at Merrimack College in January and who was there? Dunc.He was in the fight and it just meant a lot to “It was pretty cool to look out and see him there while I went out on the ice.”

“We’re still hanging around today. We’re in a group chat with all the Bow coaches and all the Concord coaches. That’s just the way we are. We keep an eye on each other except when we play against each other.”

Bill MacDougall

MacDougall was a striker for Walsh for three seasons and has been training with him for several seasons.

“There was a period in a fight where Dunc might not be so happy with the older kids. Our line had gotten a few shifts, we were the ‘baby blue’ line, which was our color in practice, he came in and started giving it to the older boys and he said ‘you know I could turn off the baby blue line all night. They will not score but they will not give up!’ ”

“He’s on you. You learn very quickly that you’re not going to pull one over him or outsmart him. He treats you like an adult when you become a senior, there are no excuses, because he knows pretty much everything. But “It’s good because you learn responsibility, which for high school kids is a good lesson to learn. Many kids think they have control over the world, know everything, and cheat through things; but not with Dunc.”

“There were exercises where we did not see the puck, we just skated all the time, for our own sake. He wanted to catch us in helmet boxing or something like that, it was never too bad a game, but because we did things we should not do, “then there’s another lesson. I think he’s closer to the kids now than he used to be, and I think today’s kids need it more. Kids go out and play hard for him.”

“I admire his dedication to this program. I mean, it does not happen everywhere, and that’s one of his favorite things to say. He went to Plymouth State and came home to be an assistant at Concord High, and over time built he it into this dynasty as it is now.Many people would have said that after his run in the 90s that he could have gone as a coach in Plymouth State or gone as a coach elsewhere, but he is really dedicated to this program, to this city and this community. ”

Ryan Philbrick

Philbrick defended Walsh from 2018-21 and traveled to Cushing Academy in Massachusetts after his junior season, where Tide won the program’s eighth championship.

“I was really excited to play for him because I knew him, and when he wanted to come over, I talked about Concord High hockey when I was younger. Just talking to him about the team, it was pretty cool to be a part of his team.I have a good relationship with him.During the season I never talked about it (to leave) with him because I did not want to be a distraction.But after the season he had heard that I traveled “before I had a chance to talk to him but he understood. He asked me where my best choice was and he was great with it.”

“He has approached me while I have been in Cushing and asked me how things are going, how the fights are going and I have seen him a few times since I was home. It just means a lot. ”


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