We asked, they answered: Mike DoyleRed Wing girls hockey assistant coach Mike Doyle was a goalie for the University of Minnesota from 1958-61 and played with the likes of Herb Brooks and Lou Nanne for John Mariucci. Upon graduation he became a French teacher and hockey coach.
By: Ryan Nilsson, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing girls hockey assistant coach Mike Doyle was a goalie for the University of Minnesota from 1958-61 and played with the likes of Herb Brooks and Lou Nanne for John Mariucci. Upon graduation he became a French teacher and hockey coach.
Doyle now coaches Emily Stegora, just as he coached her dad at Minneapolis Edison. Doyle's granddaughter, Kayla Oberding, also is a member of this year's team.
After the U, Red Wing coach Scott Haley had said that you went up to the Iron Range and taught.
Yes, Chisholm. The superintendent promised me that if I came up and taught French he'd let me start hockey. Mariucci was angel of hockey in Minnesota and his view was that everyone should be playing hockey. It should be like it is today. And he was willing to lose games. He didn't recruit Canadians.
We did have a few Canadians like Louie Nanne came in, but wasn't recruited. He came in from Sault Ste. Marie, which is across the river from Michigan. ...
One year, our best year, they didn't have a WCHA. So if you go back to the WCHA archives you'll see one year -- I was playing that year, we had a marvelous year -- there was no WCHA.
We all played the same schedule and everything, but it was all over Mariucci standing firm on playing Americans: "How can you be in a college, a state-supported school, and you're all Canadians?" And on and on and on. So of course I was Mariucci's missionary. So I go up to Chisholm and Chisholm didn't have hockey. ...
I promised that I'd stay there till I got it going. You know that in the first 10 years of that program they had more Division I hockey scholarships than they did in the whole history of the school in basketball. Now you know, Chisholm is a basketball (school).
Chisholm has made 18 appearances in the boys basketball state tournament since 1919.
I was gonna go to Yale Medical School when I finished pre-med, but to go to Yale I had to have a language. ... I needed French to go to Yale, and I thought, well if I'm gonna be any good at French I might as well be able to speak it well and handle it well. That's why I took French.
In hindsight I was so happy because my best friend in Chisholm was the doctor. What do you think he would rather have done than be the doctor? A coach, he would rather be a coach.
He offered to help me through medical school. I said, "What kind of a deal is that? You'd be frustrated. I'd be frustrated. We'd have two frustrated doctors that would rather be coaches."
Coaching was the thing I wanted to try and I liked it.
Scott told me two years ago that you never went to state with any of your boys teams. So what does this mean for you to go with the girls?
That's always your goal. I'm one of these coaches that says I want the kids to get as good as they can get individually and team wise. In those days there was only one class. We had 11 schools when I first started (at Minneapolis Edison). Southwest and Roosevelt and those teams had Reed Larson, Mike Ramsey. They were really good and we were the blue-collar team.
We were always pretty good, but we never had the real all-stars, as many, anyhow. And so we were competitive. ...
The closest we ever came was Reed Larson's team beat us 4-3 in the semifinals of the region, at that time they were regions, on a puck that went up into the lights (at the) convention center. Nobody knew where the puck was. The referees didn't, to this day nobody knows. And they looked in the net and it was in the net. ... How that got in there I still don't know. That's the closest we got.
But it's a big deal for these girls. It's a priceless thing. I think it also shows that if you work hard, you'll be rewarded.
Any good stories come to mind?
Herbie (Brooks) got the job at the U and he would come over to the auditorium and he'd sit with me and we'd watch games. I'd pick his brain. He'd pick my brain. ... We're sitting there one year and Reed Larson is a senior and he doesn't have a scholarship to the U.
And Herbie comes up to me and he says, "Mike, what do you think about this kid?" He says, "Some people say he can't skate."
I said, "Here's the bottom line Herbie, if you don't take him, he'll beat you single-handedly. That's how good he is. I don't care if he's got the perfect stride that some of your advisors think he should have. The guy's a marvelous skater, he can handle the puck and he can shoot like a cannon."
He says, "You're positive?"
I said, "Just remember what I said, 'If you don't take him, he'll beat you single-handedly.' If you do take him, he'll be unbelievable."
"I'm taking him," he said and he did. And you know the rest. He was ... in the NHL for umpteen years.