Flames Announce 2020-21 Coaching Staff
The directors of First State Ice Hockey have assembled an accomplished coaching staff that boasts years of high-quality hockey experience to lead players through the 2020-21 First State Flames season.
The core Flames coaching staff is comprised of:
16U/18U – Sean Cannon and Gary Yovanovich
14U – Drew Brown
12U – Blake Hill
10U – Sean Cannon and Blake Hill
“As a coaching staff, we will all be working together as a unit to work with all the kids,” said Sean Cannon, hockey director of First State Ice Hockey. “We’re excited to bring a new approach and a different mindset to coaching youth hockey players in Delaware.”
With that new approach and different mindset comes a deep staff with some of the highest levels of playing and coaching experience the state has seen.
Cannon — whose coaching résumé runs the gamut from mites to college and includes four years with the Valley Forge Minutemen Tier 1 program — will be joined at the helm of the Flames’ 16U and 18U teams by another accomplished veteran coach: Gary Yovanovich will bring over 20 years of high-level experience behind the bench to the Flames organization.
“Gary’s résumé speaks for itself,” Cannon said. Yovanovich, who played collegiate hockey for Penn State’s ACHA program, served as a coach for the Washington Little Capitals and Washington Pride Tier 1 youth programs, helping pave a path for numerous players to earn scholarships at NCAA hockey programs.
“I believe through hockey, we can help athletes be successful in every aspect of their lives, not just on the ice,” Yovanovich said. “Experience has taught me that fostering a fun and enabling culture using a holistic approach to training best helps to achieve this goal.”
Drew Brown, who played for the Jersey Shore Wildcats of the NA3HL, will lead the Flames’ 14U team; and Blake Hill, who boasts valuable experience coaching Tier 1 girls hockey after his time playing Tier 1 and scholastic hockey in Michigan, will lead the 12U team. Hill and Cannon will join forces to coach the Flames’ 10U teams, as well.
“By bringing this group of coaches together, it will help players progress to the realistic path toward the higher levels they strive for,” Cannon concluded.
In addition to the above quartet of head coaches for their teams, the Flames will also be joined by goaltending coach Justin Grevious. A Michigan native who is now based in Philadelphia, Grevious served as head coach for the Philadelphia Revolution of the Eastern Hockey League for eight seasons and currently leads goaltending instruction for the Philadelphia-based Elevated Athletics.
A number of skills coaches will complement the core staff at Flames practices and Accelerated Skills Advancement Program (ASAP) clinics, including current Lebanon Valley College (NCAA D3) forward Kyle Scott and Delaware Blue Hens (ACHA) players Jay Luce, Ivan Sidoriak, Devin LeBlanc and Ryan Johnson, veteran youth hockey coach Ian MacKenzie, and others.
For more information about the 2020-21 Flames season, click here. Stay tuned for further information relating to pre-registration to occur in early June, along with additional details.