WILLIAM SHAWN WALSH
BANGOR - William Shawn Walsh, 46, died Sept. 24, 2001, after a long and courageous battle with renal cell carcinoma, a form of kidney cancer. He was born June 21, 1955, in White Plains, N.Y., the son of Charles and Mildred Walsh, presently of Ashburn, Va. Always a serious sports fan, Shawn learned to skate from an early age, playing goalie in both high school and at Bowling Green University in Ohio. He began his coaching career while still a sophomore, moving on to become assistant coach at BGU and, later, Michigan State, while earning both bachelor's and master's degrees in Education from Bowling Green. In 1984, he accepted an offer from the University of Maine to take up his first and, as it turned out, sole position as head hockey coach. As the years passed, he made it clear to all that Maine was his home and would always remain his home, despite offers to move elsewhere. His mother was a native of Maine, but his love for the state proceeded from the deep roots he established and nurtured here during a career that can only be described as extraordinary. Inheriting a program that had a combined record of 13-59-2 during his first two years at the helm, he built the University of Maine Black Bears into a respected national powerhouse, winning the Hockey East title four times and the NCAA National Championship in 1993 and 1999. Shawn was the recipient of the Spencer Penrose Trophy as National Coach of the Year and was elected president of the American Hockey Coaches Association, among many other honors. Renowned for the fervor he brought to the game and the integrity with which his teams played, he launched the careers of 35 NHL players and many former assistant coaches, in addition to compiling the fourth best record of total NCAA tournament victories. The program he built at Maine outlives him, where he has been referred to as the "father of Maine hockey."
Surviving, in addition to his parents, are his wife, Lynne; daughter, Allie, 11, and son, Sean Michael, 2, all of Veazie, and sons, Tyler, 10 and Travis, 8, of Diamondale, Mich. He is also survived by brothers, Charles Jr., Brian, Barry and Kevin, and sisters, Patricia Weiderman, Maura Satchell and Mary Sullivan.
Friends may call at St. John's Catholic Church, 207 York St., Bangor, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, 2001, at St. John's Catholic Church, with the Rev. Gerard Gosselin, pastor, celebrant. Interment will be at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Bangor. Those who wish to remember Shawn in a special way may contribute to the Coaches Foundation, a charitable organization that can be contacted at the Coaches Foundation, P.O. Box 115, Bangor, ME 04402-0115, Telephone 207-990-4075. A service of Brookings-Smith, Bangor.
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