Chiefs Welcome EHL GM/Head Coach Greg Heffernan
Connecticut Chiefs Owner and Team President, Brandon Johnson, announced today the hiring of Greg Heffernan as the EHL team’s new General Manager and Head Coach.
“We are extraordinarily pleased to bring a coach of Greg’s pedigree and passion to our organization,” Johnson said in a released statement. “Over the last couple of seasons, we have grown considerably to become a winning playoff team. We believe that Greg will take us to the next level and become a consistent championship-caliber team. Just as importantly, with Greg’s contacts and reputation, he will help a multitude of our organization’s athletes take the next steps in advancing their hockey careers.”
Heffernan joins the Chiefs after spending the past 12 years as head coach of D-III’s Western New England University (WNE) men’s ice hockey team.
On the ice, Heffernan led the team to their best winning percentage in 18 years and reached the ECAC Northeast Semifinals before being eliminated by the tournament’s top-seed and NCAA tournament participant Wentworth. On his watch, WNE also qualified for the ECAC Northeast playoffs for the first time and captured the Pepperidge Farm Face-Off Classic hosted by Worcester State.
“I’m extraordinarily proud of building a successful program with WNE,” Heffernan said. “The administration and students were always with us and I’m grateful for all of their support. When I heard about this amazing opportunity with the Chiefs, I was intrigued by it and all it had to offer. In terms of what I was looking for in the next step in my career, this checked off all the boxes, and after meeting with Mr. Johnson and (VP and Director of Coaching) Ike (Corriveau), I knew I had to be a part of this organization.”
While he was proud of his success on the ice, Heffernan was thrilled by what his players did off it.
“We had our success on the ice because we had very intelligent young men striving even harder for academic success off the ice. We consistently placed double-digits numbers of our players into the CCC Academic All-Conference (posting GPAs of 3.30 or higher). I intend to instill that same emphasis on academic success to our Chiefs players.”
Heffernan joined the Western New England athletics staff after serving as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Fredonia State University for three seasons. While at Fredonia, Heffernan helped the Blue Devils to the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) championship in 2007 and an appearance in the NCAA Division-III Tournament.
Heffernan also administered a national charity event “Pink the Rink” to raise money for breast cancer awareness. The event was featured in over 80 newspapers worldwide and appeared on national networks including CNN, NBC, and ESPN.
Prior to Fredonia, Heffernan served as head coach and general manager of the Cleveland Barons Under-18 AAA hockey club where he compiled an impressive 77-48-17 record for a .602 winning percentage. During his tenure, the Barons won back-to-back Ohio state championships in 2005 and 2006.
Heffernan was a graduate assistant and video coordinator at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., from 2002-04. The Lakers were Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) champions in 2003 and appeared in the NCAA Division-I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship Tournament.
Heffernan is a 2002 graduate of Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He received his master’s degree in organizational leadership from Mercyhurst, and an MBA in the Education sector from WNE.
Heffernan played 18 games of professional hockey in the United Hockey League (UHL) and Quebec Semi-Pro Hockey League (QSPHL) from 1999-2001. At Concordia, he played three seasons in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), Canada’s Division-I hockey league.
“Greg has a contagious aura of optimism and positivity that’s required to build a culture of winning and for player development,” Johnson remarked. “I’m excited for the future of the Chiefs and especially for our players who I believe will benefit the most from Greg’s coaching and mentorship. Greg will be able to help them all take the next step in living their hockey dreams.”