The name Joe Brand has been synonymous with the Long Island hockey coaching scene for over 25 years. His coaching positions are numerous and his knowledge, accolades, and championships for that matter, are unmatched. Known as a “players coach” by those who have played for him, Joe has consistently groomed players for the Junior and College ranks. His greatest success would have to be at the High School level. During his time behind the bench of the Long Beach High School Marines, he has amassed 9 County Championships, 3 New York State Titles, a National Tournament appearance along with 2 Junior Varsity County Championships and 3 Middle School County Championships. To honor his dedication to the game and the great success he has had, he was presented with an award from the former City of Long Beach Recreation Commissioner, Robert Carroll, in 2000 naming him Long Beach's "Mr. Hockey".
Joe has coached youth hockey on Long Island at nearly every level, spending time with the Nassau County Lions, Lady Islanders and most recently with Long Beach Lightning as coach of the Squirt, Pee-Wee, Bantam and Midget teams. He was the acting hockey director from 2000-2008 at the Long Beach Arena where he was responsible for returning the program to the success it once was in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
As a player, Joe was a member of the first ever Long Beach ice hockey team, was a four-year letterman at St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset and went on to play at SUNY-Cortland in the early 80’s.
After graduating college, Joe returned to his home town and ran a prominent local business until 2001 when he joined the City of Long Beach staff. He served as the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation from 2004 - 2012 and was integral in the department’s success and the City’s operation of the ice arena. Joe is now the proud owner/operator of Brand's Deli in Long Beach which opened in May 2012. To those who know him best “he’s a hockey guy who is generous to a fault. ”
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Keith’s passion and commitment to the game of hockey can be seen through the multiple positions he holds within the sport. He is a player, coach, administrator, rink employee, and one of the founders of the Long Beach Lightning Youth Hockey Organization. Don’t be fooled when you meet him for the first time, his Bronx neighborhood upbringing gives him a rough exterior, but his kind hearted nature makes him the perfect candidate for a youth hockey coach.
Keith has been Joe Brand’s side-kick behind the Long Beach High School Marines bench since 2002. His resume of wins is impressive. 7 County Championships, 3 New York State Titles, a National Championship appearance, 1 JV County Championship, and a Middle School County Championship. In 2008 and 2009 Keith was selected to coach the Nassau County High School Hockey All Star team as they took on the Suffolk County All Star's in the Lighthouse Cup. Keith also led the Long Beach Apple Core Mite team to a successful inaugural season in 2009 as their head coach.
Keith moved to Long Beach at age 12 and started his hockey career. He attended Kellenberg high school from 1992-1994 where he played hockey for two seasons then transferred to Long Beach High School and served as an alternate captain his senior year.
Keith currently works for the City of Long Beach as an ice arena employee. In his position he is not only responsible for the smooth operation of the facility, but through his efforts he ensures that hockey remains a focus in the community. As a member of the Board of Directors Keith serves as a liaison between the City of Long Beach and Long Beach Lightning.
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“Geno” as he is called by friends has been around the game for over 45 years. Now over 50, he’s still playing men’s league keeping up with the 20 year olds fresh out of college. Gene played his youth hockey here on Long Island, attended the hockey powerhouse St. Mary’s High School where he was a defenseman and went on to play four seasons with the LI Digs Junior team in the early 80’s.
Not only has Gene seen the game through the player’s eyes, he has also seen it from a parent’s perspective. With two children having gone through the youth hockey gamut Gene understands the family commitment required to have a child in the sport.
As a coach Gene has had success with the Long Beach Middle School hockey program, leading them to multiple winning seasons. His success as a coach can be attributed to his laid-back, positive demeanor which allows him to not only coach his players, but “teach” them as well. Gene has brought that “teaching” style to Long Beach Lightning and has been a member of the Squirt coaching staff for the past three seasons.
Gene has been a member of the Long Beach Lightning family since its inception in 2009 not only as a coach but also as the organization’s Alternate Governor and accountant. He volunteers his time strictly because he loves of the game and wants to do what is right for the children of this community. Not once has Gene asked for anything in return. Gene is a CPA by profession and operates his own accounting firm in the West End of Long Beach.
Noel brings 30 years of hockey experience to the Long Beach Lightning organization. A product of the Long Beach hockey system, he grew up playing for the Apple Core program, as well as Long Beach High School, where he captained the team to two Nassau County Championships and two state title appearances. His fondest hockey memory came as a Pee-Wee when he competed in the renowned Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament as a member of the Jr. Islanders. Noel was twice invited to represent New York State as a member of the Select ‘15’ and Select ‘17’ teams that competed in St. Cloud, MN as part of USA Hockey’s Player Development Camps. A two time captain for Suffolk PAL’s Junior program, he helped them to capture a Metropolitan Junior Hockey League title and a Junior “B” National Championship Tournamnt appearance in ‘99-’00.
Noel earned himself the opportunity to play college hockey at the NCAA Division I level and signed with Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT in 2001. From 2001-2006, Noel appeared in nearly every game for the Pioneers. He captained the team his final two seasons, capturing a SHU record setting 21 victories in the 2005-2006 season and making it to the Atlantic Hockey League Championship his Junior year. Noel was the recipient of numerous scholar-athlete awards during his tenure at Sacred Heart and earned both his Bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University.
Noel has assisted as a coach at various hockey programs. During his college years he was an instructor at the Micro-Hockey clinic’s in Bridgeport, CT and ran the City of Long Beach House League program from 2009-2010 during his time as the arena’s hockey director. Noel's most recent coaching position was with the LBL Mite team during the 2011-2012 season. Noel has previously worked as a freelance event planner concentrating his efforts in the sports industry and holding positions with companies such as ESPN and The National Hockey League.
Noel handles many of the administrative functions and behind the scenes tasks for the organization. He is passionate about keeping true to the Mission and Philosophy of Long BeachLightning and operating within the USA Hockey Sanctioned ‘American Development Model’.
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