That’s what stood out to me about Pat Serio, who passed last month at the age of 61, when I first met him in the fall of 2014 as My Hockey Live was set to get off the ground.
I remember walking into our first meeting and getting to know the team and learning more about the product we were set to unveil and immediately thought that this thing had a chance to be successful. It was a group effort, of course, spearheaded by Mark Igo. But it became apparent quickly that Pat, videographer extraordinaire, was the nerve center of what we were trying to accomplish at MHL.
“He was the foundation of our production team,” Igo said.
Pat was a pro’s pro. There’s a reason his services were in demand across not only Massachusetts but truly all over the country. In addition to high school coverage – which itself went beyond just hockey – Pat did outstanding work with horse shows and equine events, as well as his work with the Yale men’s lacrosse team and countless other projects.
Just as important as his work ethic, however, was the kind of person Pat was. Pat was truly a gentle soul of a human being, kind and compassionate. He is undoubtedly rolling his eyes somewhere as I write this, but it’s true. Working with Pat never felt like, well, work; whether it was in the middle of a blizzard, a cold spell in the single digits or both, going out to cover a game with Pat was never a burden. It was fun.
Pat’s sense of humor was the perfect balance for how seriously he took his craft, which he made appear effortless at times.
“He was a guy who was a perfectionist at times, but always for the right reasons: to make things better,” MHL broadcaster Paul McNamara said.
It was never about Pat (or us broadcasters); it was always about the game being played on the ice, the kids involved and making sure they received the coverage they deserved.
“When you got paired up with Pat you knew you were going to get great production, no connection issues and were going to have some fun,” MHL broadcaster Matt O’Brien said. “I feel those he trained here at MHL make our job better and easier as broadcasters.”
Among his many skills, Pat played an integral role in developing other video producers over the years at MHL, including Jeff Lane.
“Nobody was better,” Lane said. “[He] basically taught me everything I know about streaming games. Fielded endless frantic phone calls from me for the first couple of years when something was wrong. I’ll miss him greatly and owe him so much.”
Pat’s legacy won’t soon be forgotten. Figures all over the high school sports community, particularly hockey, have been paying their respects to the rock that kept MHL centered over its first seven seasons.
Pat is survived by his wife, Sally, and two sons, Peter and Kevin.
We miss him dearly.
-- Jake Levin