Coaches

Great Coaches make great players

We’ve assembled proven and established coaches & training professionals in Fairfield County. They achieved success in their own careers and have demonstrated excellence in both teaching skating & hockey skills and in coaching competitive hockey teams.

Mike Backman | Hockey Director, CT Breakers & Twin Rinks | 2006 & 2007 | The only NHL experienced Hockey Director in Fairfield County. Mike was an All-Star in the Canadian Hockey League before joining the New York Rangers. He has been the Hockey Director at Twin Rinks for 22 years, and has coached elite level youth teams to state and regional championships, and many of his individual players have gone on to play at top New England Prep schools, Division 1 Colleges, and professionally.

Victor Baryshevtsev | Skills and Skating Development Coach | Pioneer of Russian hockey skating techniques, Victor was the Alternate on the 1988 USSR Olympic Team. Worked with numerous Olympic skaters and NHL players including NY Rangers draft picks and prospects. Current NHL Skills Coach for: Max Pacioretty (Montreal Canadians), Sean Backman (Eisbaren Berlin Polar Bears, DEL), Artem Anisimov (Chicago Blackhawks) and Matt Moulson (Ontario Reign).

Chris Gragnano | U-16/U-18 |  Grags played high school at Christian Brothers Academy, where in his senior year he was named team captain. That year he was also named to the All-County and All-State teams. Upon graduation he went on to play hockey at Providence College. After some time with the Friars he went on to Vermont where he joined the Green Mountain Glades of the EJHL. Chris currently serves as the assistant coach at the Gunnery, coming off a New England Prep School Championship in 2016-2017 and runs Total Hockey Development where he trains local collegiate and professional players in the summer.

Tucker Grose | U-16/U-18 | Currently the Assistant Hockey Director at Twin Rinks, Head Coach at Trinity Catholic and DYHA Bantam A. Tucker is also a member of the coaching staff for the CT Condors development program. Tucker has been coaching youth hockey and high school for the past 6 years and brings a lot of energy and knowledge to his practices.

Brett Farson | 2011 | Played prep hockey at Philips Andover and then played at Amherst College. He has been coaching youth hockey for 12 years and is currently the head coach of Rye Country Day school and is the Hockey Director for the Greenwich Blues Hockey Association.

Kevin Erving | 2010 | Played his prep hockey at St Marks before going on to play club at St. Lawrence University. Has been coaching youth hockey – prep school for the past 5 years. Kevin specializes in skill development for young players. He currently coaches DYHA Mites and also is a member of the coaching staff for the CT Condors development program.

Chris Furtak | 2008 | Chris grew up in Fairfield County, played youth hockey for New Milford Youth Hockey. Attended NFI, went on the play hockey for Manhattanville College, then transferred and played for UConn Men’s Club Hockey. Following graduation, he got his Masters in History-Education from UConn, and made hockey his career, working for Blueline Sports. For the past 4 years, he was an Assistant Coach for New Canaan High School, while coaching Squirts for DYHA travel.

Pat Gore | 2005 | Pat served as head coach of the New Caanan Boys’ Varsity Hockey team from 2014-2017. Currently, Pat coaches DYHA PeeWee A and has coached with DYHA for over 15 years. He has earned a lot of respect in the local hockey community throughout his time as a coach, and is excited to return to the CT Breakers program. Pat played at Fairfield Prep.

Mark Wilhelm | 2009 & 2004 | Over the past ten years, Mark has gained respect locally coaching with a number of different youth hockey programs from all levels Mite through Midget. Recently, Mark’s teams have won local, state, and regional championships culminating with the 2016 USA Hockey TII U18 National Championship. Mark’s experience coaching all levels through various programs has allowed him to earn a reputation as one of the most well rounded and respected youth hockey coaches in southwestern CT. Mark’s coaching emphasizes skill development over all else at the younger levels, with a strong focus on teaching young players the importance of Respect, Responsibility, and Accountability. Mark is a USA Hockey level 4 coach. Mark played his youth hockey for the Southern CT Stars and Mid-Fairfield. He played high school hockey at Notre Dame of Fairfield under legendary coach Marty Roos.

Specialty Coaches

Dr. Jennifer Stewart | Sports Vision Training | Dr. Stewart is the Chief Vision Officer at Performance 20/20. Performance 20/20 is a sports performance vision training center where athletes of all sports and abilities can sharpen eye hand coordination, reaction times, focus, awareness, and tracking. They utilize the newest vision technology to evaluate and train athletes in all sports with a customized training plan. Dr. Stewart has worked with teams such as the Miami Dolphins, NY Knicks, and the Olympic Track and Field team.

For more information, visit: www.perform2020.com

Chris Ardito | CT Crease | Chris has been coaching goalies for 14 years. He has acted as an evaluator for USA Hockey at the state level, and is the head goalie coach for the Northern Lights program. He coaches students of all abilities and has worked with Mid-Fairfeld, CT Wolfpack, CT Clippers, CT Polar Bears, CT Condors, and many others.

Chris has also coached at the collegiate level. From 2008 – 2012 Chris served as assistant and goalie coach for Southern Connecticut State University. Helping lead them to 2 regional appearances and 1 national appearance, including a single season record of 25-1 in 2011 – 2012. Chris resigned from SCSU to take a position as goalie coach for the Yale University Women’s Ice Hockey Team in September 2012.

For more information, visit: www.ctcrease.com