No matter the age, gender, sport or any other defining characteristics of an athlete, one thing is always there – the competitiveness. That flame deep in their soul that is relentless. That flame never dies out, it rages on. Try as you might, it will always be there.
This is the case for Ray Boudiette, who hung up the skates a year after graduating. He left his mark on Rhode Island hockey as a two time URI MVP and finished ninth in program history in points.
After hanging up the skates, Boudiette knew there was nothing else that could compare to his passion as he returned to a place he once called home. Boudiette came back to the Rams, this time in the form of an assistant coach.
“Hockey is the thing I like to do the most, it is my passion and nothing else matches,” said Boudiette.
Of course, coming back as a coach had its challenges and adjustments had to be made, but his time on the ice has helped prepare him for life behind the bench.
“I wasn’t the most skilled guy in the world and I had to rely on thinking about the game and structure and it is a natural progression to move into coaching and teach the stuff I was always focused on,” Boudiette said.
Although coaching has been going well and he has enjoyed his time back in Kingston, there are some parts that just can’t replace lacing up the skates.
“The toughest part is just not being a part of the team, you’re not in the locker room, you’re not dealing with everyone on a personal level everyday,” said Boudiette. “I’m still friends with all the guys of course, thats never going to go away, but at the same time there is a divide between me and them.”
One thing that has been constant throughout Boudiette’s time here in Rhody, and has been constant for the past 30 years, is Head Coach Joe Augustine.
“I didn’t see him and the attention of detail that he has every single day as a player but he’s locked in every day and not just on the hockey stuff, making sure our guys are acting the right way,” Boudiette said.
Boudiette racked up 63 career goals, 86 assists and a total of 153 points. He was named team MVP twice and was a captain his final two years. He played at Rhody for three years, which fueled his competitive flame. Now back at Rhody, this time behind the bench, he now has to feed his fire in a different way.
“The competitiveness will always be there and I don’t think that will ever go away,” Boudiette said. “Now I just have to find a different release for it.”