In the spring of 1996, Salmon River Head Coach, Bill Plante, chaired a committee of coaches from around the state to produce the state rankings for high school hockey. Those rankings were then forwarded to Neil Kerr, of the New York State Sports Writers Association (NYSSWA) for publication. That same spring, Suffern Head Coach, John Orlando, contacted Bill and expressed the need for a State Coaches Association. This association, he envisioned, would be responsible for- a New York State High School Hockey Hall of Fame, an annual All-State Team, assistance at the State Tournament, as well as great resource for all Coaches and Teams throughout the state.
Bill made the initial contacts and in the fall of 1996, an inaugural meeting was held to formulate plans. It was held at Lake Placid and after a few meetings, dinner, and a round of golf, the New York State High School Hockey Coaches Association (NYSHSHCA) was created. Bill Plante was named President, John Orlando Vice President and the late Dan Barrows Secretary-Treasurer. There were representatives from sections- 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10 in attendance.
Bill coordinated with the Lake Placid Olympic Authority to secure a hallway at the arena to house the newly formed High School Hockey Hall of Fame. This hallway is located just off the ’32 Rink in the Olympic Arena. He also contracted with Kevin Neeger from Utica to make all the organizations plaques and certificates.
The NYSHSHCA is currently in its 18th year and its membership has grown to over 100 teams and around 200+ coaches. Our goal is to have a membership of all New York State High School Hockey teams, approximately 125 teams. Membership is currently open to any New York State High School Hockey Coach, active or retired, from any High School Team, (Public, Club, Catholic, Private, etc.). There has been discussion to open up membership to non-coaching individuals.
The current mission of the NYSHSHCA is to service all aspects of New York State High School Hockey to include:
- Selecting a Division 1 and Division 2 Annual All-State Team
- Assisting at the NYSPHSAA State Championships
- Selecting the State Championship All-Tournament Teams
- Maintaining the State High School Hockey Hall of Fame
- Maintaining the High School Hockey State Records Database
- Sponsoring various Coaching Clinics
- Providing a strong political voice to the State Committee
- Improving relationships between sections
- Providing a network for Coaches to communicate
- Plus a lot more…