Hall of Fame

Noah Welch
Ice Hockey

Graduation Year


Induction Year


Hall of Fame

Harvard Athletic Achievements

2-time All-American (2005 first team, 2003 second team) … 2-time All-ECAC Hockey (2005 first team, 2003 second team), ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team (2002), and ECAC Hockey All-Decade first team … 2-time All-Ivy League first team (2005, 2003) … George Percy Award (2002) winner as the member of the freshman class who most closely displays the characteristics of George Percy ’18; enthusiasm, sportsmanship, team spirit and loyalty … Ranks first in career penalties (131), second in penalty minutes (270), and 10th in games (129) … Helped Harvard to 2 ECAC Hockey Tournament Championships (2004, 2002) and 4-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2005, 2004, 2003, 2002) … 4-year letterwinner … Team captain (2005) … Enjoyed a 6-year NHL career … 2016 Olympian for the United States.

Hall of Fame

Remembering Harvard Athletics

I was sitting in my office during a Covid shutdown when Teddy Donato called me. I always enjoy talking with Teddy but this phone call I’ll never forget. He told me I was going to be inducted into the Harvard University Athletics Hall of Fame. I was surprised. This has never crossed my mind. The closest I got to thinking about this was my freshman year in the “bike/training room” in between the locker room and the Zamboni bay before the renovations at the Bright. In this room was a caricature drawing of the All-Decade team for Men’s Hockey for the 90’s I believe. There were some great players on this drawing, some of whom I grew up watching, and I remember thinking “what do I need to do to make this list one day?” That drawing was extra motivation for me. I have no idea who hung it up, but I’m thankful they did. The biggest motivation however was winning. I had just won a Prep School Championship at St. Sebastian’s and wanted to win another championship. Ron Rolston, Nate Leaman, and Mark Mazzoleni recruited me to go to Harvard and told me I’d have to earn it, but I’d have a chance to play as a freshman. I loved our team that year. It was a great balance of older players and two large younger classes, and that team wanted to win badly. We ended up winning the ECAC Championship that season, and as a result got a seat in the NCAA tournament. It was a big deal for Harvard Hockey at the time and it motivated all of us to put in more work and win another one. Winning comes at a cost and I had a group of teammates willing to sacrifice to win a championship every year. For this I’m grateful. We played in the ECAC championship game all 4 years and won two of the four. We played in the NCAA tournament all four years. These are accomplishments I’m very proud of. I promised my mom I’d get my degree. I busted my butt in high school as a student athlete to open up the door to go to Harvard, but my main priority at Harvard was playing hockey. My hockey goal was to help Harvard win and then turn pro and bust my butt in hopes of playing in the NHL one day. Every single teammate, coach, team manager, trainer, and rink staff during my four years helped me accomplish these goals and I’m grateful for them all. I’m a local kid from Brighton that grew up in a broken home without really knowing it was that broken. My mom did everything she could to allow me to play sports and in many ways that kept me out of a lot of trouble. Many kids I grew up with in Boston are dead or in jail because of drugs and bad decisions that come from using them. My drug was hockey so to speak, and it took me down a path that led me to one of the most recognized Universities in the world. Growing up in Brighton, in many ways I already knew Harvard, at least the athletic side of campus. My best buddy CJ and I would sneak into the field house and jump on the track and field mats. Chet Stone would call Mark Manning and let him know when the ice was open. We would rollerblade to the Bright and skate for hours. When I was younger Jack would flood the ice for us and allow us to watch games in the Zamboni bay next to the band. When I got older Edzo was our guy. I love those guys. They are “shirt of their back” Bostonians that did so much for me as a young local hockey player with big dreams. I had an interview with Bill Fitzsimmons in Admissions and after it Chetty called and told me it went well. I’m pretty sure Chetty and Mark offered Bill several Neil’s Choice steaks at The Stockyard if he accepted me to Harvard. He did and the financial aid department helped my mom out a lot so we could afford for me to attend Harvard. My older brother Kethe helped my mom out and paid for my tuition and for all of this I’m very grateful. My four years at Harvard were some of my most enjoyable hockey seasons of my career. I enjoyed playing with all my teammates, and I was especially thankful for my class and the class of 2004. There are some older classmates that had a massive impact on me as a person and player. Graham Morell, Pete Capouch, and Dominic Moore were older classmates that really poured into me from day one. I learned a lot from those three guys and I’m thankful for the help they gave me. The 2004 class was legendary. There was a bunch of them, and they were character guys that could play. Our class came in after and in many ways, they had paved the way for us to be successful. I knew having 3 years with them would be special and it was. We won a lot of games, two championships, had a lot of fun on and off the ice, and grew close like brothers. I can’t help but think what those three years would have been like if they weren’t in the quads! I guess we will never know. My class was a great great class. 4 of us were from Boston or just outside and played with or against each other in high school. It was fun reuniting in college with Lanno and becoming teammates with Tommy and Flynny for the first time after playing against them. Bernie, Ledsy, and Dov completed our class, and we all embraced the challenge of trying to get in and stay in the lineup as freshman. Over the years coaches came and went. Every single coach I had at Harvard made me a better player. Some more than others but every single one of them helped me develop and I’m thankful for them all. They knew I wanted to win at Harvard and play in the NHL and they wanted the same for me and my teammates. It was a privilege to put on the Harvard Jersey for four years and to be team Captain my senior year. So many great players have worn that jersey before me and after me and I’m proud to be a Harvard Hockey Alumni. I’m thankful to the Friends of Harvard Hockey and all they did for me and my teammates and continue to do now for the program. It still blows my mind that the Friends need to raise the money they do every year with the endowment Harvard has, but they do it and the players benefit from it. Since graduating from Harvard, a lot has changed for me. I was able to play in the NHL for a bit, played overseas in Sweden, and then played in the 2018 Olympics. I had a solid 13-year professional career and the 4 years at Harvard prepared me for my pro career. One thing I was not expecting was becoming a Christian. I used to make fun of those people. God used a fight at center ice against the Montreal Canadians to draw me to Him in faith and repentance. I was the golden boy, the rags to riches story coming out of inner-city Boston. I was told I was “good” my entire life, and my god was my hockey career. God took that from me temporarily when I blew out my shoulder in the fight and missed the entire season for The Florida Panthers, which was the biggest opportunity of my career after signing a two-year one-way contract. Looking back, I’m so thankful God allowed this to happen and I see how He used this for my good and His glory. I might have missed an NHL opportunity, but through it I know and follow Jesus. At Harvard the only thing I knew about the history of the school was that a guy named John Harvard had something to do with the university starting. The only thing I knew about John Harvard was to not touch the foot of the statue of him (it’s not him), because students pee on it. I also learned the hard way that the chicken tenders and draft beer from the John Harvard’s pub the night before, will get you the next day. After graduating it was cool to learn that John Harvard, one of the founders, was a Puritan minister who immigrated from England. His passion was to teach and train church leaders, and he donated his entire library to Harvard when he died. Harvard today, is certainly not a Christian University that trains up church leaders. In a way, where Harvard started and where it has gone is like the United States. Some say we are making progress in both instances, I do not. Hockey is a great game that God has used to bless me tremendously. It has taken me to different parts of the world, but most importantly, through hockey I have met some amazing people, the most important one being my wife Alissa. My four years playing hockey at Harvard were some of the best years in my career. I had great teammates, great coaches, great trainers, great team staff, great alumni support, great friends and family support, great facilities, and I am thankful for all of this. The list of thank you’s to all those who have helped me in my career could be the size of Mass Ave. If I played with you, thank you. If you coached me, thank you. If you ever helped my mom, get me to a practice or game, thank you. Mom, thank you. I understand more now as a dad of four with an amazing wife, the sacrifice you made as a single parent with a younger son who loved to play sports. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to play hockey, if you do not make this happen, I do not get this award. God gets the glory, I love you and thank you. Dad, I’m pretty sure you have no idea what a one-timer is, but I know you are proud of me and always managed to get updates on my career. I love you and thank you. Kethe, thank you for your support and encouragement all throughout my career. Thank you for working to help mom pay for my college tuition. Thank you for playing hockey for Brighton High. I wanted to do what you did. You were the original #5 in our family. Uncle Guy, thank you for all your support throughout my career. After coming to faith you helped me put hockey in its proper category in my life amongst many other things. Uncle Dick, thank you for traveling all over New England to watch me play. That meant more to me than you may ever know. Mark, Liz, CJ, Rory, Charlotte, and Emmett- I do not believe in luck. I believe in a sovereign God and He is good. It wasn’t luck that we moved to Mapleton St. six houses down from you. When I think of the Manning family, I thank God for providing me with a second home and family that loved and sacrificed for me and my mom. Danny Cuddy- you are one of my favorite coaches I have ever had. Now you are a dear friend. Thank you for all the support and encouragement over the years. Neil Shea- Thank you for believing in me and helping me and my mom figure out competitive hockey. You opened many doors for me and without your help, I don’t have the career I had. Paul Vincent- You are an amazing coach. I went from being a slow-footed D man to a big guy that could skate. I remember you screaming at me at times, you might have the loudest most unique voice I have ever heard. I never once questioned if you cared about me and that is what makes you a great coach. You truly care about your players. You for sure will give them a kick in the ass, but it will be followed by a hug and a “you know I believe in you right?” Thank you. Mike Boyle- I’m thankful for Body by Boyle. Between you and Vinny I was in good hands. Thank you for teaching me how to workout and what hard work looks like. Bobby Orr and Pau Krepelka- Thank you both for everything you did for me in high school, college, and pro. I should have listened to you both in Florida and asked for a trade, but I was too stubborn to think I could win over my coach. Bill Burke- Thank you for believing in me and encouraging me to pursue my dreams of college and professional hockey. You are a special man that God used at a particular time in my life. Thank you. Chetty, Edzo, Odie, and Emmo- Thank you for spoiling me. Nate, Ron, and Mazz- you three believed in me from day one. The first letter I got was from you. Thank you for all you have done for me. Teddy, Gene, Sean, Bobby J, and Bruce- Thank you all for believing in me and helping me get to the next level. To all my friends outside of the hockey rink at Harvard, thank you for your support and friendship. It was fun journeying with you and playing in front of you. I could go on and on with more thank you’s and I know I am leaving so many out right now, but this like almost every assignment at Harvard has been done last minute and is now late. This is an award that has been achieved because I got so much help, encouragement, and support throughout my career by so many people. I am very grateful for this award and all the glory goes to God.