Bill Selman - 2016 Legend of College Hockey
The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation announced its 2016 Legend of College Hockey recipient as Bill Selman. He is the only man to serve as head coach of four Division I college hockey programs, and is widely acknowledged as having either built or rebuilt three of the four programs he coached.
Selman’s illustrious 15-year college head coaching career began with the University of North Dakota in 1966. He had spent the previous two seasons at UND as an assistant, following his three-year playing career there as a defenseman. He then moved to the University of Minnesota-Duluth for another two seasons. Selman then re-started the St. Louis University program in 1970, spent nine seasons behind the Billikens bench and culminated his college career with a two-year stint at Lake Superior State College, leaving him with an overall college hockey record of 277-217-21.
Accolades were plenty for Selman including WCHA Coach of the Year in 1967 and a runner-up finish at the Frozen Four the following season at North Dakota. While guiding the new program at St. Louis University, Selman had them top ten in the nation by their third season. From 1972 to 1978, he had the most wins in college hockey on the backs of six straight 20-win seasons and multiple CCHA regular season and playoff titles. He was honored as the CCHA Coach of the Year in 1977.
The Billikens dropped college hockey for financial reasons in 1979, so Selman turned to the pros, coaching the Dayton Gems of the International Hockey League for the 1979-80 season, then serving on the staff of NHL Central Scouting the following year. His college days not done, Selman was hired to resurrect a struggling Lake Superior State program in 1981 and guided them for two seasons.
At that point, Selman was offered a position with Anheuser-Busch joining their Sports Marketing Group in St. Louis, MO as Senior Manager developing programs with the NHL, USA Hockey, Major League Baseball and NASCAR. He is now retired and spends time between his homes in Fort Frances, Ontario and Florida. He has been inducted into four sports and athletic Halls of Fame including St. Louis University, the University of North Dakota, the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame and the Fort Frances Sports Hall of Fame. Selman’s contributions to the sport include initiating hockey schools in Missouri, NCAA Selection Committee’s and working with USA Hockey in coaching and marketing capacities.