Dick Strong’s favorite sport was basketball, and baseball was a close second, but hockey was where he thrived most and made his biggest mark as an athlete.

Strong was a top-performing goalie for Lewiston High and Kents Hill School. He also played amateur hockey for the LA Twins. He also played baseball for the Auburn Asa’s — a semi-pro baseball team — and participated in American Legion baseball.

Dick Strong, left, stands with fellow inductee Pete Lacasse at the recent Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame banquet in Auburn. Submitted photo

After his athletic career, Strong became a teacher, high school coach and a guidance counselor.

His all-round contributions to the community and his athletic exploits, especially in hockey, are among the reasons he was recently inducted into the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame.

“It is fascinating and humbling,” Strong said. “I never expected it. When I was aware that I would be inducted, it was kind of a surprise to me. I had just a long career playing a variety of different sports … never realizing it would lead to something like this.”

He was slated to be inducted, along Lynn McNutt-Girouard and Pete Lacasse, into the Auburn-Lewiston Hall in 2020, but COVID-19 interrupted the process.


“You kind of lose track that it is going to happen because of what was going on with COVID,” he said.

Strong began playing hockey for coach Mike Goff Sr. at the St. Patrick’s School in the 1950s. He later attended Lewiston High School where hockey coach Donia “Don” Girard Jr., who was also an impressive goalie, took interest in Strong and turned him into a polished netminder.

Dick Strong was talented goalie who went on to play goalie for Lewiston High School, Kents Hill School and amateur hockey team the LA Twins. Submitted photo

Strong flourished as a goalie for the Blue Devils during Lewiston’s back-to-back state championship victories in 1962 and 1963. He held his ground in the 1962 championship quest, during which he allowed only two goals in three tournament games and earned the shutout win over Waterville. Strong also thrived in the 1963 tournament with eight shutout periods.

His accomplishments on the ice carried over to amateur hockey after he graduated from Lewiston in 1963. He was a goalie for the Junior LA Twins in 1963. The team won the New England Championship that year.

But Strong also set his sights on furthering his education and  enrolled at Kents Hill, where he played baseball, hockey and soccer from 1964 to 1965. He was named a hockey MVP and collected nine shutouts for the soccer team.

He later joined  joined the Senior LA Twins in 1964 and was a two-time New England Championship winner. During his tenure as a goalie with the Twins, he earned the Adult Hockey Association’s All-New England honors, was named MVP and earned a trip to the National AHA Tournament in Minnesota.


A serious knee injury put an end to his hockey career in 1966.

Dick Strong also played goalie for Kents Hill School. Submitted photo

After graduating from Kents Hill, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham and a master’s in counseling. He became a teacher, a guidance counselor and guidance director for the Auburn school system and at Leavitt Area High School. He also coached baseball and hockey at both schools.

He also started a family. He and his wife, Jackie, have two sons, Mike and Matt.

When Strong, who also played basketball, baseball and soccer, is asked if hockey was his favorite sport, he answered with a resounding, “No!”

“I played basketball up until the eighth grade and had not played hockey until I was an eighth-grader,” he said.

But Goff asked him to be the goalie for the St. Patrick’s team because the school didn’t have someone on hand to fill that position.


“I had never been on skates before, so that was my first experience,” Strong said.

At Lewiston High, Strong was considering returning to the basketball court.

Richard Strong, kneeling, middle, played baseball for Kents Hill school. Submitted photo

“I was going to go back to basketball, so my sophomore year, I quit hockey,” he said. “I was the backup varsity goalie and I said, ‘No, I don’t want to do this.’ But I quit, which you don’t normally do, especially during the season, and as it turned out, I realized basketball wasn’t really going to be my sport, and then they hired a new coach (Girard) at Lewiston, who was a former All-American goalie at Providence College, and he came to talk to me about becoming a goalie and he mentored me and worked with me, so my two major sports are not the ones I was actually successful with.”

Making his on-ice accomplishments even more impressive is the small timeframe in which they occurred.

“But you know, in a short period of time, I had more success in hockey than I had in any of the other sports I played combined because I started playing hockey as a goalie in ’62, and by ’65, ’66, I was done with the sport,” Strong said. “I was very fortunate to have the success in a sport that wasn’t one of my two favorites.” 

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