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US Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 1997

Charles "Charlie" Holt
William "Bill" Nyrop
Timothy Sheehy

1997 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

Considered a legend in the college coaching ranks, Charlie Holt began his college coaching career in 1962 at Colby College.  There he racked up 65 victories, and turned the school’s hockey program around.  Then, in 1968 he took the head coaching job at the University of New Hampshire, where he remained for 18 seasons.  Under Holt’s leadership, New Hampshire qualified for the ECAC playoffs 14 of his 18 seasons, played in the NCAA Division I Final Four three times - 1977, 1979, and 1982 - and accumulated a 347-232 win-loss record.

The winner of the Spence Penrose College Coach of the Year Award on three different occasions, Holt’s tribute is best stated by fellow Hall of Famer Bill Cleary, who said, “Charlie Holt’s contributions to college hockey have been extraordinary as a coach and as an innovator.  His legacy is the many he coached who are now included in hockey as coaches and administrators.”

Charlie is a true friend to the game of hockey, and has contributed to the advancement to the game on many levels.

“Charlie Holt’s achievements as a superb and universally respected hockey coach at UNH are well known,” said UNH President Joan Leitzel at the time of Holt’s death in March 2000.  “In addition, he left a great legacy on the ways student-athletes, coaches and citizens, in general, should conduct themselves and treat one another.  His high ideals for perfection, professionalism, mutual respect, discipline and excellence will always be remembered and he will continue to serve as a role model for us and posterity.

1997 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

An outstanding defenseman, Bill Nyrop reached the top in all phases of hockey as a player.  He was an outstanding athlete at Edina, MN High School, where he led his Hornets to a state championship in 1969 over fellow enshrinee Henry Boucha’s Warroad Warriors in the title game.  He was also an All-State selection that year.

From there, Nyrop enrolled at the University of Notre Dame, where he played from 1970-1974.  The defenseman tallied 99 points during his tenure for the Fighting Irish and earned All-American honors in 1973.

In 1972 Nyrop was selected as the 66th player in the NHL entry draft by the Montreal Canadiens.  After his illustrious collegiate career, he was assigned to Nova Scotia of the American Hockey League, where he played for two seasons.  In 1976 Nyrop was elevated to the parent team in Montreal where he played for three consecutive Stanley Cup championship teams and was selected as a 1978 NHL All Star.

Nyrop then retired in 1979 to pursue a law degree, but was persuaded to play one more NHL season with the Minnesota North Stars in 1981.  Upon playing for one more season in Germany, he hung em’up for good, finishing his NHL career with 63 points.

After getting his law degree, Nyrop returned to hockey in 1992 as the general manager of the Knoxville, TN East Coast Hockey League club.  In addition, he later founded the West Palm Beach, FL team in the Sunshine Hockey League.

Then, tragically, the hockey world was shocked when Bill Nyrop died of cancer at the age of 43. Always a remarkable, physical specimen, he became ill in August of 1995 and passed away four months later on December 31, 1995.  He was truly one of the good guys. 

1997 United States Hockey Hall of Fame Enshrinee

Tim Sheehy is a native of International Falls, MN, where he led his high school team to three consecutive state championships and 59 straight wins from 1964-66.

Presented with the opportunity to play major junior hockey in Canada as an NHL No. 1 draft pick, Sheehy declined, deciding instead to pursue an education and play college hockey at Boston College, where he enrolled in 1966.  Freshmen were not eligible to play varsity hockey at the time, but during the three seasons he did play, Sheehy twice earned All-American honors, scoring 185 points in just 80 games for a point-per-game average of 2.31, a record that stood  at Boston College for quite a while. 

Sheehy then went on to play on U.S. National Teams in 1969, ’71, and ’72. He was also the co-captain of the 1972 silver medal-winning U.S. Olympic Team as well.  After that, Sheehy signed his first professional contract with the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association.  During his eight-year professional career he played for WHA teams in New England, Edmonton and Birmingham, along with NHL teams in Detroit and Hartford. During his pro career, Sheehy played in 460 games, scoring 179 goals and 174 assists for 353 total points.

His brother, Neil, who also played in the NHL from 1983-92, with Calgary, Hartford and Washington, is today a Minneapolis-based attorney/hockey agent. Tim and his brother worked together signing and representing some of the countries’ top hockey talent into the professional ranks.

The Sheehy family, a real class act, remains synonymous with the sport of hockey in International Falls.