Bobby Moss ’01 discusses playing professional ice hockey abroad

Bobby Moss helped Besançon hockey club reach the finals of the French Cup during his stint abroad. Photo Courtesy of Sports Information.

As students, we often hear stories from administrators and faculty about the wide-ranging ways in which our experiences at the College will affect our future lives. Perhaps no one’s journey epitomizes this more than that of Bobby Moss ’01.

As a junior at the College, Moss led men’s ice hockey to the final of the NESCAC tournament in 2000, although the team lost in a close game to Middlebury. “That was a great team I played on that season,” Moss recalled. “That was probably the best Williams team I was a part of in my four years, and it was a lot of fun. But you always remember the misses and losses more than the wins.”

Moss received an opportunity to continue his hockey career after graduation when Deloitte Consulting, where he had accepted a job, granted him a leave of absence to play with the Besançon hockey club in France. Moss pointed out that this opportunity would not have been possible without the help of his parents. “There’s no way I’d have been in a position to go to Williams or play hockey in Europe if it wasn’t for my parents,” he said. “I can’t begin to express how much I appreciate all the sacrifices they made.”

Recruited by Besançon as what is known as an “import player,” Moss joined the team speaking almost no French, driven solely by a passion for the sport. He acknowledged that his transition to life in France was difficult but was partially helped by his College education; Moss studied political science with a concentration in international relations. The challenges of adapting to a wholly different culture and lifestyle, however, were made worthwhile by his experience playing hockey abroad.

“Playing there was awesome for a couple reasons,” Moss said. “One was that we were a really good team – I don’t think we lost a game from October to February. And when you’re winning – it’s funny – it’s amazing how quickly people come together.”

That year, Besançon went on to enjoy tremendous success, placing as finalists in the French Cup, a round-robin tournament for teams of all levels in France. Moss finished second in scoring on the team and was among the top 15 scorers in the league.

After that season, Moss went back to Deloitte and worked there for several years before going to London Business School to obtain his MBA. He now lives outside of Boston with his wife and two children, and he is still working in consulting. But that does not mean that he has distanced himself from the sport of hockey or his College teammates.

“Last weekend was my son’s fifth birthday, and two of my teammates from Williams were there, and another one lives down the street from me now,” Moss said. “That was the best part about playing at Williams, to be honest: the guys that you played with and the friendships you made.”

Although his life has changed considerably since leaving the Purple Bubble, Moss has fond memories of his time at the College, especially of the people he worked with in Williamstown. “My student job for four years was working with the guys who did grounds-keeping,” he said. “I think it’s often overlooked how hard those guys work, and I don’t think they get the credit they deserve. One of them, Jim Menard, was one of my closest friends there, and I still talk to him all the time. It’s funny, the friendships you can make at a small school like Williams.”

Moss still tries to pick up the skates every now and then, but he admits that it can be a little hard to find time these days. “Last year was the first season I hadn’t played since I started playing – since I was four- or five-years-old,” he said. “I’m trying to get my son skating, so I’m building a little backyard rink for him this weekend. That’ll be my focus.”