WATERVILLE — The Walsh name is back in Maine college hockey.

Tyler Walsh is expected to be named the next assistant coach at Colby College, pending official confirmation from the school in the coming days.

Colby Coach Blaise MacDonald could not comment on the pending hire, per school policy.

Walsh, head coach at North Yarmouth Academy for the past two seasons, is the oldest son of Shawn Walsh, the legendary former coach who led the University of Maine to two NCAA Division I championships, in 1993 and 1999. Shawn Walsh died in 2001 of kidney cancer complications.

“I think (NYA) was a good step for me. I was able to get some head coaching experience while I’m young,” said Walsh, 27. “I wanted to go back to college, that’s really been my goal, and I think this is a really good step to get back into the college game.”

Walsh will replace Chris Hall, who left Colby after six seasons as its top assistant coach to pursue other opportunities.

Hall came with MacDonald to Colby prior to the start of the 2012-13 season.
“These assistant coaching jobs at a school like Colby, they’re really developmental jobs,” MacDonald said. “We try and equip our assistants with enough experience and knowledge that they are prepared for whatever comes next for them. Chris is ready for that next step. More than ready.”

Walsh was a student assistant coach at UMaine as an undergraduate, working under Coach Tim Whitehead in 2012-13. From there, Walsh went to Division I Canisius as the director of hockey operations, and later to the United States National Development Program to work as a coach for two years in Michigan. He started at NYA in 2016.

Walsh said he believes his work ethic and his ability to recruit make him attractive as an assistant coaching candidate at the college level.

“I think it’s my willingness to work. I’ve got a goal. I’m striving for that, my personal goal,” said Walsh, who would like to someday become a head coach at the college level. “I’ve really had four (coaching) positions, four uniquely different experiences, and I can bring different things I’ve learned.”

Shawn Walsh won 399 games over 17 seasons at Maine. Tyler Walsh was 11 when his father died, but he is acutely aware of Shawn Walsh’s impact on Maine hockey circles.

“I’ve had the name forever,” Tyler said. “It really hit me when I was going to school at UMaine. I would go into the rink and see all the things with my dad, and so many people had stories about what he had done there.

“When I went to Michigan, I kind of started my own path. Coming back to NYA, back to the state where my dad made an impact, I’ve definitely felt it. It’s really neat.”
Colby is coming off its most successful season in the 95-year history of the program.

The Mules won their first New England Small College Athletic Conference championship and made their first appearance in the NCAA Division III Frozen Four, where they lost in the national semifinals to eventual champion St. Norbert of Wisconsin.

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