Pride for the Skating Saints was in full force over Legends of Appleton Weekend 2022, as Charles W. Appleton II Head Men’s Hockey Coach Joe Marsh P’03, ’06 was honored as an inductee and both the men’s and women’s teams scored impressive home wins.
At the Nov. 5 induction ceremony in Appleton Arena in front of hundreds of Laurentians, including former Skating Saints and North Country community members, President Kathryn A. Morris and the Hockey Alumni Association Executive Board recognized Marsh for his many contributions to the sport, as well as his leadership within and loyalty to the Laurentian and North Country communities.
“The Legends of Appleton award invites us to pause as a Laurentian community, to celebrate and honor the most accomplished and respected players, coaches, and alumni who built the Saints hockey tradition and made an impact on the world of hockey,” said President Morris. “Tonight, I am looking forward to adding one name to that list of Legends: Coach Joe Marsh.”
The dedication of the Joe Marsh Men’s Hockey Team Suite was celebrated earlier in the day. The newly renovated space for student-athletes and coaching staff was made possible through the generosity of alumni, parents, and friends. The celebratory afternoon also included a game day concert and tailgate that featured country music recording artist Blaine Holcomb ’14, who performed to a huge crowd on North Country Field.
Marsh is a two-time Spencer Penrose Award winner as the AHCA National Men’s Coach of the Year and a four-time Tim Taylor ECAC Hockey Men’s Coach of the Year. In his 26-year career with the men’s program, he forged one of the most successful coaching careers in U.S. college history. Not only was he successful with wins and championships, but he was also one of the most revered and admired coaches of his generation. He coached 12 of the 14 20-plus win seasons in St. Lawrence history and produced ECAC Hockey championship teams in 1988, 1989, 1992, 2000, and 2001. He took teams to eight ECAC Hockey tournament championship game appearances, two Frozen Fours, and the 1988 NCAA National Championship game.
He retired in 2012 with a 468-399-72 record and was just the third coach in Division I hockey with more than 400 wins at one institution.
In addition, Marsh coached 18 All-Americans, seven Hobey Baker finalists, six ECAC Hockey Player of the Year Award winners, four ECAC Hockey Rookies of the Year, five Outstanding Defensive Forward Award recipients and five Outstanding Defensive Defensemen.
Marsh not only mentored former Saints as players, but was invested in their development as people and connected to their families, too. In addition, Marsh taught in the University’s First-Year Program and served as an academic advisor. In 2014, Marsh was the recipient of The American Hockey Coaches Association’s John MacInnes Award recognizing him for his great concern for amateur hockey and youth programs. The recipients of the MacInnes Award have had high winning percentages as well as outstanding graduation percentages among their former players. The winners of this award have helped young men grow not only as hockey players, but more importantly as men.
After a brief hiatus from coaching following his retirement from St. Lawrence, Marsh served as the interim head coach of the Dartmouth women’s hockey team for one season, coached at New Hampton School and, in 2018, returned to Appleton Arena as a volunteer assistant coach for the Saints’ women’s hockey program.
The Legends of Appleton was launched by the Hockey Alumni Association and the University in the fall of 2017. Coach Marsh joins three prior classes of Legends, including inaugural inductees Brian McFarlane ’55 and the late Bill Torrey ’57, former men’s coach Mike McShane, former women’s coach Paul Flanagan ’80, Peter McGeough ’88 and Gina Kingsbury ’04.