Long Island has announced the hiring of the team’s inaugural coaching staff.
Head coach Brett Riley welcomes assistant coaches Will Messa and Joe Gilhooly, along with director of hockey operations Nick Beaudoin, and volunteer goalie coach Bobby Goepfert.
“I am thrilled with the addition of these four leaders to our staff,” Riley said in a statement. “Our team will be very fortunate to work with and learn under them. The passion, work ethic and knowledge they possess will be a competitive advantage for our program in its inaugural season. These four will lead by example and uphold the level of character we will strive to bring out of our team. I am beyond excited to work alongside them as we build this program from the ground up.”
Messa joins the Sharks after serving as a volunteer assistant coach at Union during the 2019-20 campaign. Prior to his time in Schenectady, N.Y., Messa spent the 2018-19 season as an intern assistant coach at Notre Dame.
Messa also spent a season as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater Northeastern in 2017-18. As a student-athlete, he played three seasons (2013-16) for the Huskies.
“Will brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to our program,” Riley said. “He has learned from and played for some of today’s best coaches, but at the same time is eager to carve his own path in the game. Our young men will benefit from his attention to details and innovative approach to teaching the game. Will is an excellent communicator and understands how to connect with, motivate and mentor today’s student-athlete. I am excited to watch Will develop our squad.”
Gilhooly comes to Long Island after serving as a graduate assistant coach at Western New England. During his time with the Golden Bears, Gilhooly served as a New England area scout for the USHL’s Chicago Steel. Prior to his time at Western New England, Gilhooly played four seasons at Potsdam.
“Joe’s passion for the game, progressive approach to skill development and excitement to recruit elite leaders to our campus were just a few of the qualities that stood out throughout the interview process,” Riley said. “As a Brooklyn native, Joe understands the local recruiting landscape and has watched the metropolitan region prosper into a prominent hockey landscape. Our program is very fortunate to have Joe assist in our build.”
Beaudoin will be responsible for the oversight of video analysis, analytical evaluation and assisting with administrative tasks. Beaudoin comes to LIU after spending the past two seasons with the USHL’s Cedar Rapids Roughriders serving as a New England area scout. Beaudoin is a 2020 graduate of Quinnipiac.
“We are thrilled to welcome Nick to Long Island University,” Riley said. “He is eager to learn and assist our young men in all aspects of building a competitive hockey program. Nick’s organizational skills, passion for the game and knowledge in video make him an integral part of our program’s build.”
Goepfert returns to Long Island as a volunteer goalie coach after spending the last two seasons in Cedar Rapids as an assistant coach. As a player in Cedar Rapids, Geopfert appeared in over 90 games over two seasons.
Following his second season (2001-02), he was named the USHL Player of the Year and the USHL Goaltender of the Year, and was drafted in the sixth round (171st overall) of the 2002 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Goepfert split his college playing career between Providence and St. Cloud State. At St. Cloud, he was named an NCAA Division I All American, and was a Hobey Baker finalist in 2006-07. He played professional hockey for the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, ECHL’s Florida Everblades, and in Europe for Dusseldorfer.
“Bobby is one of the top players to come out of Long Island,” Riley said. “More importantly, he understands how to motivate and teach all aspects of the goaltending position. Bobby comes highly recommended from some of the games top hockey minds. We are very fortunate to have such an elite person and coach working with our goaltenders.”