Inducted into the Burrillville HS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001
Inducted into the RI Interscholastic League Hall of Fame in 2011
Babe was born in Harrisville, RI in 1919. He attended Burrillville High School where he played football and hockey for Tom Eccleston, the legendary Bronco coach. He earned his “Babe” moniker due to his baseball prowess and graduated from St. Bonaventure University.
Shortly after the start of World War II, Babe enlisted in the Army and saw action in Italy and Africa. He returned home in 1951 and became a beloved teacher and principal of four schools in Burrillville and served as a hockey assistant to coach Eccleston. When Tom moved on to coach Providence College in 1957, he turned over the head coaching reigns to Babe.
Babe coached Burrillville hockey for 18 seasons through 1974 and became a legendary coach in his own right. During that period, his Broncos never missed the playoffs. They won 7 state championships and were one of the main contenders for the state crown in virtually every other year, appearing in 11 state finals over his tenure.
His teams won the RI state title in the decades of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. His 1959 Burrillville team was the first RI squad to win the New England interscholastic hockey title. His teams would reach nine NE finals, winning five, tied for the most ever.
After an overtime loss to the Len Ceglarski-coached Walpole High squad in the 1958 New England finals, Burrillville won its first title the following year, beating Arlington. They repeated in 1960, and won again in 1963, 1973, and 1974.
Mousseau’s teams were usually big and physical and could outskate just about any opponent. Tactically, it was simple. The Broncos dumped the puck in from center ice and then rushed to retrieve it. Their game plan was built around their edge in conditioning. The secret to their superior legs was outdoor ice.
Burrillville had ice earlier and for longer than the rest of the state. This was almost an unfair advantage in an era in which other teams fought for practice time at the RI Auditorium, one of the state’s few indoor rinks.
Babe Mousseau’s unique ability to motivate young people to work beyond what they had thought were their capabilities enabled Burrillville to remain among the RI high school hockey elite for at least a decade beyond when they realistically should have been there.
After he retired from the Burrillville school system, Babe spent several years teaching and working on an Apache Indian reservation in Arizona. He died at age 83.