Northern Michigan University (NMU) Athletics have announced on their Instagram account that longtime hockey coach and former player Walt Kyle will be inducted to the school’s Sports Hall of Fame this upcoming season.
Via a post by the NMU Wildcats’ website, Kyle began his career at NMU after two seasons at Boston College. As a captain in his first year at NMU, he led his team to a WCHA Championship and a NCAA Frozen Four title game appearance against North Dakota.
Following a CCHA Championship in his senior season, Kyle led the Wildcats back to the Frozen Four, losing in the semifinals against Wisconsin.
Kyle eventually returned to his alma meter in 1982 as an assistant coach under then-head coach Rick Comley, where he’d hold the position for a decade.
After a few brief stints as coach in the professional minor hockey leagues, he would assume the head coach position at NMU in 2002, following the path of his former mentor in Comley.
“He was a natural born coach,” Comley stated via NMU’s post. “My success came from having him as my assistant in those early years. He embodies everything about NMU hockey. From being a player, to an assistant coach; I knew I wasn’t going to leave until I had convinced him to be my successor.”
Behind the bench, Kyle finished his career as NMU’s head coach in 2017 with a 265-263-68 record.
Such feats he accomplished as head coach include an appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the 2010 season. He was also known for coaching/recruiting six Hobey Baker Award finalists and 14 All-Americans, and was part of the 1991 NCAA National Champion hockey team as an assistant coach.
The NMU Sports Hall of Fame induction will be held Friday, October 1, as part of the school’s Homecoming weekend festivities at the Forrest Roberts Theater on campus.