WELCOME TO GLACIER YOUTH HOCKEY

welcome our new hockey/executive director

kevin Cassidy

Kevin Cassidy
Hello Glacier Hockey! As I begin this new role, I look forward to getting to know everyone within the organization. Thanks to those who have introduced themselves so far, and please continue to introduce yourselves and be engaged in this exciting organization.

Quick Introduction

Hockey has played a major role in my life and I have been so blessed by the sport. Growing up a couple miles from my local rink in Minnesota; I bicycled there to practices before eventually driving and found myself enjoying the environment so much, getting a job there as soon as I was able. My playing experience revolved around goaltending. From a young age, I became obsessed with it. I had many mentors and coaches in the Twin Cities area and was fortunate that the resource was readily available to me.

Through hard work and persistence I became a starting goalie and captain of the varsity hockey team. I was encouraged by those around me to work hard and develop. You stop growing the moment you believe you can't learn or improve in every area of the game, so I was determined to glean as much information from a variety of resources, and continue with that mindset today. Most of all, I fell in love with the game.  After my playing career ended, I went on to receive an undergraduate degree in Recreation and Sports Management from St. Cloud State University. While receiving the degree, I never left the ice for long and found myself playing goalie for recreational teams, officiating hockey (which I have done since the age of 14) and started working at St. Cloud State University's Herb Brooks Arena for continued growth in Arena Management.

After receiving my degree, I was offered an opportunity to begin officiating hockey, full time, in the junior officiating development program through USA Hockey. This program trained and prepared me for the next major steps in my career. Living full time in league apartments and traveling the USA hockey landscape is a very fond memory as it opened up a pathway to officiating in the NAHL, USHL, SPHL, CHL and the AHL, experiencing first-hand, what it takes to achieve at high levels in the game and how to do it. My officiating career gave me many memories and stories that I'll enjoy sharing with you all.

Following the 2014 season, I was presented with an opportunity to use my degree to manage an ice rink full time, back in Minnesota. This change in my career allowed me to continue on the ice with NCAA D1 NCHC and WCHA conferences and opened up the door to coach. My coaching role began with goaltenders and quickly moved to the lead assistant for the High School program. It was an exciting time for me to expand my role and give me a new insights and experience in the game. I coached for 6 years at the high school level, ran camps, conducted power skating clinics with my wife, developed programming, before ultimately deciding to move to Montana.

Looking Forward

Spring is in the air and Summer is fast approaching. We have been working hard at planning the next hockey season and I am very much looking forward to the start of it. It is important this time of year to reflect on the past season, heal up from injuries, get some down time and recharge the batteries. While some players are finding ways to stay on the ice, it is also very important to enjoy other activities away from the rink, so when you are here, you are engaged and you want to be here. Some of the things that I enjoy outside of the rink are hiking, horseback riding, backpacking, fishing, hunting, camping, and working on my home. Living in this area is a playground for myself and those that like the outdoors, so I would encourage you to enjoy what this area has to offer. Other sports like soccer, baseball, tennis, lacrosse, ect help develop athletes and physical competency.

Myself starting this role is not the only thing changing in GHA. The board is seeing a turnover and we will have 6 new board members. There will be a total of 9 board members and committee roles are being developed to help steer the organization. It takes an engaged, adaptable organization to be successful and it is encouraging to see the group energized and excited.

Post season surveys are being evaluated. Thank you all who participated and gave us their feedback. There are some big decisions that we have to make and it helps to have constructive feedback.

Closing

Thank you so much for your continued support of GHA during this time of transition. The volunteers and coaches are the heartbeat of the organization. I look forward to seeing you all at the rink.

 

- HOCKEY FOR ALL -

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“Just to be able to represent Montana and Whitefish as a town, it’s pretty special to me.”

-Jake Sanderson, GHA Alumni

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