Let's go! Barbin coaches 1,000th game

Longtime hockey mentor has been with Big Red since 1987.

May 9, 2022

Coach Dana Barbin has spent his life in a hockey rink. Sometimes even when he was not supposed to. The Exeter native — who played at Exeter High School before going on to enjoy an outstanding career at the University of New Hampshire — would occasionally sneak into one of the Academy rinks for an extra skate and workout. For the past 35 years, he’s just walked in the front door.  

Barbin officially stepped onto campus in 1987 and immediately found a spot behind the boys hockey bench. On Feb. 26, he celebrated his 1,000th game as a coach with a 3-2 victory over — who else — Andover during winter E/A.   

Barbin spent his first five seasons as an assistant under coach Bill Dennehy before he assumed the head coaching role in 1992. Barbin served as the head coach for the next 29 years before returning to his role as an assistant under current head coach — and his former player — Tim Mitropoulos ’10 in 2021.  

Barbin has amassed quite the laundry list of accomplishments while building Exeter hockey into one of the premier prep programs in the country. He led Big Red to a 30-3-0 record and a Division I New England title in 1999, and has seen hundreds of former student-athletes continue their careers at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels and 11 former players drafted into the NHL. Barbin, who also played and coached internationally in Denmark in the 1980s, was inducted into the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey in 2011. Over the course of his head coaching career, Barbin put together a staggering 582-235-53 record.  

Congratulations, Coach! 

Editor's note: This story first appeared in the spring 2022 issue of The Exeter Bulletin.