After graduating from Waterville High in 1956, Harold Violette played football at the University of Maine, where he was regarded as one of the top linemen in UMaine history. When he started his football career at Maine, first-year players were restricted to the freshman team; but, it didn’t take long for the 5’10”, 230 pound Violette to make an impact. During one of the scrimmages with the freshmen, several members of the varsity team said he hit like a “tank.” “Most people don’t know my real name.” said Violette. “I’ve never seen a nickname stick so fast.”
By the time he graduated in 1960, where he was the team’s Most Valuable Player as a senior, half of the faculty had forgotten his real name but not his achievements. He earned All-Yankee Conference, All-Maine, and All-New England honors in 1958-59.
Violette’s start in life as the youngest of seventeen children is as impressive as his sports records and the impact he had on his players and on anyone whose path he crossed during his 39-year career as an educator, coach, athletics director, family man, and person.
One of the men who was instrumental in steering Violette to Maine was Dick McGee. “Dick was my mentor,” said Violette. “When I was a senior in Waterville High School, Dick was coaching at Lawrence. I did my practice teaching there.”
He was assistant varsity coach at Lawrence High School from 1960-1961. He then moved on Richmond High School from 1961-62, where he was the assistant varsity football and junior varsity football coach. An appointment at Belfast Area High School followed. For the next five years he coached varsity football and wrestling at Belfast.
Then came an opening at Winslow High School. From 1969 to 1985, his Winslow High School football teams posted a record of 152-52-2 and won 5 state championships. He also coached ice hockey, wrestling, golf, and baseball. “I became involved in coaching hockey when my son was interested in a youth program,” said Violette. “I had played for four years in high school and was the only one who knew how to skate.”
Winslow never missed the playoffs in hockey during Violette’s 15 seasons coaching there. The Black Raiders won six state championships, and six of seven state finals. Harold Violette was named hockey coach of the year four times in addition to being named football coach of the year three times.
His combined football/hockey record at Winslow was 369-138-7, a 72.5% winning percentage. Adding Belfast to this record brings it all up to 408-148-7, a winning percentage of 73.1%.
This outstanding sports figure has made quite an impact on the people in the Town of Winslow and in the state of Maine.
Harold O. Violette and his wife Harriet will celebrate their 50th anniversary in August. They reside in Winslow and have two children, Steve and Debra.
Maine Sports Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 2
Cumberland, ME 04021
Phone (207) 807-7666
The Maine Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972 for the purpose of: 1) appointing and bestowing recognition awards and scholarships to outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes; and, 2) to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.