There is a name in the amateur St. Louis hockey circles known to many because he helped select the 1980 USA Olympic Men's Hockey team - and was huge supporter of Mike Eruzione - and we know how that turned out. This same man coached the USA team in the 1982 World Championships in Helsinki.
Before that, however, in 1970 he was right here in St. Louis making his mark on amateur hockey by being the first coach of the first hockey team for Saint Louis University. St. Louis had hockey fever, with the Blues making three straight appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Billiken team lasted nine seasons, and Sellman was their only coach.
Prior to coaching at SLU, Selman was a coach for the University of North Dakota and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He helped form the Central Collegiate Hockey Association in 1992 - but it was through SLU that he helped set a NCAA regular-season attendance record in 1974 when the Billikens defeated Ohio State in front of 15,348 fans.
Of course, playing in the St. Louis Arena, home ice for the St. Louis Blues, that offered competitive hockey at reasonable ticket prices certainly helped! His record while at SLU was 191 wins, 129 losses, and 14 ties. He continued coaching for the Dayton Gems of the International Hockey League and for Lake Superior State. Following hockey, Selman worked in sports marketing for Anheuser-Busch, retiring in 2001.
The Arena, the first SLU hockey team and a passion for youth hockey helped spur the love affair between St. Louis and hockey. Affordability and availability to Division I hockey made this dream a reality for many young players and their families. His efforts involved forming youth leagues in the 1970s and include the Junior B teams and working with St Louis Amateur Hockey Hall of Famers such as Charlie Eberle (Class of 2011) and Coach Lou Struckman (Class of 2009).
And Bill was always coaching - his own team of course, but then through countless clinics and hockey schools. Boy Scouts, high schools, Hockey Mom's, church groups all benefited from Coach Selman - and his players often attended along with other hockey friends of his. Fellow coaches Herb Brooks Jeff Sauer, and Sherry Bassin all participated in Coach Selman's youth hockey experiences here in St. Louis.
Three of Selman's players went on to play in the NHL. They were: Mike Krushelnyski (Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings), Mario Faubert (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Lindsay Middlebrook (New Jersey Devils, Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota North Stars, Edmonton Oilers). One of Selman's most prolific St. Louis players was Rick Kennedy (HOF Class of 2010), who led the NCAA in scoring in 1972-73.