VALLEY JR. WARRIORS - JUNIORS
Coaches & Staff
HEAD COACH & GENERAL MANAGER

Ryan McGrath

rmcgrath@jrwarriors.com

Ryan McGrath comes to the Jr. Warriors with close to 20 years of experience in coaching, player development and NCAA placement.  Most recently Ryan spent the last 5 seasons as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Wentworth Institute of Technology.  In his time with Wentworth he recruited 15 players from the EHL.  Prior to Wentworth Ryan spent 4 seasons as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.  At UMB Ryan helped recruit 5 all-American’s and helped build the Beacons into the national powerhouse they are today.

In addition to his work at the NCAA level he has helped promote over 150 players to NCAA Hockey while with the South Shore Kings, Portland Jr. Pirates, Northern Mass Cyclones, Rhode Island Saints and Reading (MA) High School. 

Ryan has also made a name for himself in player development circles as he was the Director of Player Development for Mass Hockey from 2010-2014.  In that Position he oversaw the process to select players for USA Hockey’s National Development Festival’s.  He has also worked for the state federations in Maine, Rhode Island, Florida as well as the Rocky Mountain District. 

In the summer months Ryan is the Lead Instructor for Paul Vincent Hockey Schools located at Hockeytown USA in Saugus, MA.

EHL PREMIER HEAD COACH

Brett Heigl

bheigl@jrwarriors.com

The Valley Warriors Family is pleased to announce the hiring of Brett Heigl as the Eastern Hockey League Premier (EHLP) Head Coach. Brett brings with him over 15 years of experience as both a player and coach. Brett played two years in the EJHL for the New England Jr. Huskies and the Valley Jr. Warriors.

After his junior hockey career, Brett attended New England College and was a member of the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) National Championship team in 2014-2015. He also played in the USA Rugby Division 1-AA East Coast Rugby Conference in 2015-16. Upon his graduation from NEC, Brett moved to New York where he was the Head Coach of the Hoosac Prep Men’s Varsity Hockey team from 2016-2019. Brett has also coached in the PrePrep Showcase and the Selects Prep Prospects camp, both for multiple seasons.

He brings with him the ability to recruit and develop players to get to the next level. When asked what excites him most about the opportunity to now coach the team he once played for, Brett had this to say, “Having the opportunity to coach the same team that welcomed me into the world of Junior hockey is a bit of a surreal feeling. Some of my fondest hockey memories and lifelong friendships have come from the VJW program a while back. To have the ability to “come full circle” is an honor and I couldn’t be more ready to get to work with the rest of the staff.” In response to the style of coaching his players can expect from him next season, Brett said, “I like to have a group of guys who hold themselves to a high standard, who keep resetting the “bar” and constantly strive for something better. I like to create a highly positive, family first environment in the locker room and a high-energy environment on the ice. My coaching style tends to be systematic, however, I want to incorporate all that with a “lunch pale”, “blue collar” style of hockey that will allow our players to adapt quickly and creatively to skilled opponents.”

Ryan McGrath, General Manager of the EHL/EHLP, is ecstatic to have Brett on Board. “We are extremely excited to add Brett Heigl to our team! Over the last four years at Hoosac he has proven to be a tireless recruiter and an excellent teacher with an impressive track record of promoting his players. He fits in perfectly with our mission of helping each player who wears the Jr. Warrior uniform in achieving their academic and athletic goals. He will serve two roles within our program. He’ll be the Head Coach of our EHL Premier team and the Head Coach of our Split Season U18 Showcase team. Please join me and welcome Brett to the Merrimack Valley.” Brett resides in Acton, MA.

MICHAEL CLOUGHERTY - EHL ASSISTANT COACH

Michael Clougherty

mclougherty@jrwarriors.com

Michael is one of two former VJW players on the staff.  Michael finished up his VJW career in 2019-2020.  He is currently a second year student at Boston College.  Michael main responsibilities includes preparing video for our EHL team.  Michael also coaches the forwards.  

In addition to his Junior coaching responsibilities, Michael will be the Head Coach for our Split Season U18 Showcase team as well as a skills coach for VJW youth.

Strength & Conditioning - Pat Gigante

Pat has over 15 years experience preparing athletes for elite competition in all sports at the collegiate and youth levels. With experience working with multiple professional athletes and top collegiate lacrosse, hockey, football, soccer, and baseball players, Pat has honed his ability to develop the entire athlete.  Pat spent many years as the Strength & Conditioning Coach at Tufts University and has extensive knowledge of preventing and treating concussions in athletes.

Xcelerated Performance