Roosevelt hockey coach Mike Quint. Photo by Larry Caruso

Roosevelt hockey coach Mike Quint headed to MHSC Hall of Fame

By Tom Tigani

Mike Quint didn’t get into coaching hockey for the accolades, but he’s picked up enough of them along the way to be nominated — and accepted — into the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame.

“It’s a good thing,” he said of his most recent honor. “I appreciate it. I don’t even know who nominated me. They kept it a secret and that’s a good thing too.”

When he hasn’t been coaching, Quint and his wife have raised two daughters and a son.

“I’m really grateful to her,” he said. “She’s allowed me to take time to coach other people’s kids.”

Quint started as an assistant coach at Wyandotte Roosevelt High School for four years under his brother, Joe. He then went across town to Mount Carmel High School, where he coached for 10 years before making his way back to Roosevelt, where he’s been head coach for nearly 20 years.

His 2007 team won a regional championship and his 2011 squad was state champion. And while the Bears didn’t take the big prize in 2015, they were regional champs before losing to a powerhouse Cranbrook team. 

The championship wasn’t his first, however; he played on the 1979 Trenton High School state championship team.

“I’ve been lucky enough to get there twice,” Quint said of his state championships. “I don’t think a lot of people have even gotten there once.”

He cites his playing years under Trenton legend Mike Turner as a resource in his own coaching career.

“I was taught a lot in Trenton and I carry a lot of it with me,” Quint said.

Most of his Roosevelt teams have finished above .500 on the season, often making it to the postseason. But not every year.

“You try to implement a system that best suits the kids you pick that year,” he said. “Some years people have had to worry about stopping us. Now we have to worry about stopping other teams.”

He attributes much of his success over the years to “some great assistant coaches that made my job that much easier.”

“We’re just doing what I learned as a player,” Quint said. “We talk about what kind of game we have to play, and what forecheck we have to run. I lean on them a lot.”

His coaching methods have remained mostly the same since the beginning.

“The game’s pretty simple,” he said. “It really hasn’t changed much except for the equipment.”

Quint has, however, had to make some adjustments in style over the years as the types of players have changed. Part of that includes having a study hall right after practice in the warming room at Yack Arena that includes tutoring from Roosevelt teachers.

“There’s been years when we do it twice a week, and years we didn’t have to do it at all because their grades were good,” Quint said. “We only did it once this year for finals.”

Besides the 2011 state championship he recalls a number of memorable moments behind the bench. That year, forward Gerald Mayhew was named the state’s Mr. Hockey before turning pro with the Minnesota Wild, and lots of players on that Bears team went on to play in college.

In 2007 Roosevelt lost in double overtime to the future state champs.

“Those kids played their heart out,” Quint said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better effort.”

He also was proud of his team’s performance in the 2015 regional.

“We’ve won a lot of regionals, but you don’t mind losing if the effort’s there,” Quint said. “That’s the way I look at it.”

Since starting in hockey as a player at age 4, he has played or coached every year, and is proud to have reached the levels of success that mark his career.

“We’ve had some really good years,” Quint said, “but I never have coached for my own self-satisfaction. I really do it for the kids. I don’t do it for myself. I try to make these young men better people in society.”

He’s also looking forward to starting up again next season.

“We will have lost three players, but everyone else is back,” Quint said. “We should be a pretty decent team.”

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