Belcher reacts to being named new Notre Dame-West Haven boys hockey coach
It’s been a busy time for Tim Belcher, named new Notre Dame-West Haven boys hockey coach on Friday.
Emotions have been running high, he has been deluged with emails, texts and calls from well-wishers and he is already looking ahead to the challenge of taking on his ultimate dream job.
“I’ve been swamped,” said Belcher, a former Notre Dame player who coached the Lyman Hall boys hockey team the last 13 seasons. “This experience the last few days, getting your dream coaching job, it’s been an unbelievable feeling, I’ll tell you that.
“I am looking forward to the challenge. Fortunately I was at Lyman Hall and experienced each level of competition going from Division I to Division II and then last season in Division III. This is definitely a jump up for me. I go from a team of 14 total roster players last season to an elite Notre Dame team where 50-60 kids try out every year.”
Belcher said the entire interview process took about a month. After sending in his initial application and resume, he had his first interview on Monday, a second interview Wednesday and was offered the position on Thursday.
“I signed the contract right then and there on Thursday,” Belcher said. “Being an alumnus likely helped me. But I was upfront during the interview. I told them I was an intense person, I was passionate about being successful but also with having fun in the sport. I also have a disciplinary philosophy.”
Belcher graduated from Notre Dame-West Haven in 1993 and during the 1992-93 season helped the Green Knights win a CIAC Division I title. He went on to play at Quinnipiac University where graduated in 1997 and that fall became an assistant boys hockey coach at Lyman Hall. He became the head coach at Lyman Hall for the 2000-01 season.
Belcher becomes the first Notre Dame boys hockey coach to be a former Green Knights player and he also sees that as a positive in taking over the program.
“I’m going to be able to relate to the players on a more personal level,” Belcher said. “I actually went through what they are going through. I know about the stresses at Notre Dame when it comes to balancing academic success and success on the hockey team.
“Academic success is very important and I am well versed in the ways to help players fall in line faster to make that balancing act work and be a positive experience.”
Belcher replaces Bill Gerosa who retired after last season after coaching the team the last 15 seasons.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk with coach Gerosa yet,” Belcher said. “But he was a great teacher in the classroom and on the ice. He gave a lot to the sport of hockey.”
Belcher has volunteered to help Lyman Hall officials in their search for a new coach but there is no specific timetable to make that selection. There will likely be an in-house search and then candidates outside the Lyman Hall school system will be considered.
“I’ve been out of Notre Dame for 20 years and I’ve been coaching 16 of those years at Lyman Hall,” Belcher said. “It was a great experience with great support from the people there. Their program is going to grow the next few years and it will be a great place for someone to coach boys hockey.
“I always said the only way I would leave Lyman Hall is if my dream job at Notre Dame ever became available, and it did. I’m a very fortunate person.”