Kevin Cunningham brings a wealth of coaching experience to the Danbury Colonials as the team’s first head coach. A dedicated teacher of the game, Cunningham has coached in a variety of settings during his career. These opportunities have helped him develop a strong coaching skill set focused on a positive player experience, maximizing development and ultimately promoting his players to the next step on their athletic and academic journeys. Coach Cunningham strives to create an environment which will allow his teams to play fast, aggressive and entertaining hockey. Practices run at a high tempo and are focused on individual skill development as well as situation and system play. In games, the Colonials will play as a team with speed, energy and intelligence, making the game difficult for their opponents.
Coach Cunningham comes to Danbury from the Connecticut Chiefs where he served as the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) team’s head coach and general manager during their inaugural season in 2018-19. The Chiefs put together a solid season, developing a positive team culture and competing with the EHL’s top teams consistently using structured, team-focused strategies. The team’s power play proved to be a crucial tool for the Chiefs scoring a number of important goals and finishing the season ranked seventh in the league. Chiefs players earned numerous EHL player of the week honors and captain Zach Withington was named to the EHL New England Conference Second Team as a forward. Most importantly, five Chiefs alumni will play NCAA Division III hockey in the fall of 2019 and an additional five will continue their hockey careers at the American Collegiate Hockey Association level.
Prior to his stint with the Chiefs, Coach Cunningham coached at Cheshire Academy, Connecticut College and Wesleyan University since relocating to Connecticut in 2010. During his time at Connecticut College numerous players earned in-season and post-season New England Small Conference (NESCAC) honors. He also recruited and coached a NESCAC Rookie of the Year while at Wesleyan. Coach Cunningham gained valuable experience as the Director of Hockey for the New Jersey Selects hockey program and New Jersey Colonials Girls’ Hockey Director after posts as an assistant coach on the women’s hockey staffs at The Ohio State University, Providence College and Brown University. He currently serves on the Player Development staff for the Rocky Mountain District of USA Hockey and has previously held similar roles with the Atlantic, Southeast and New England Districts.
Brian Allen, a Brookfield, Connecticut native, joins the organization after playing much of his career in the Danbury Arena. Brian played prep school hockey Vermont Academy and played Junior Hockey for the Hartford Junior Wolfpack & New Jersey Rockets of the Eastern Hockey League. Following his junior career, Brian attended and played varsity hockey at Worcester State University. During his senior season, Brian also served as the team’s Assistant Coach. Cunningham commented, “Coach Allen will be an invaluable resource for our program. I am impressed with his knowledge, energy, and passion for the game. He will be a huge asset throughout the season both on and off the ice.”
Zak McGinniss is the play-by-play voice of the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks, as well as the Director of Broadcast Operations for the Danbury Hat Tricks (FPHL). A two-time FHL Broadcaster of the Year Award winner, Zak returns to the broadcast booth at Danbury Arena for his sixth season in the Hat City after previously being the play-by-play voice for the Danbury Whalers and Danbury Titans. He has been featured on ESPN3 as the voice of the ACHA National Championship at the Division I and III levels for four years. At the junior level, he has provided play-by-play for the Northern Cyclones (NCDC), Jersey Shore Wildcats (NA3HL), Hartford Jr. Wolfpack and Connecticut Nighthawks (USPHL), and Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (AJHL). Zak has previously been the play-by-play voice and public address announcer of the Danbury Westerners, in addition to calling high school basketball, volleyball, and football in Connecticut and New Jersey. A professional broadcaster for ten years, he played hockey and graduated from the Catholic University of America where he was named a conference all-star his junior year and captured a Mason-Dixon Conference championship as a senior. Zak lives in New Jersey with his wife Jennifer.
Casey Bryant handles all things media for the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks: media relations, news articles, video content, social media posting and broadcasting. He also is the play-by-play voice of the Danbury Hat Tricks (FPHL) and NAHL Jr. Hat Tricks. He has been a hockey broadcaster for six years, calling play-by-play for several collegiate and junior-level teams including Marist College, New York Apple Core (EHL), Jersey Hitmen (USPHL) and P.A.L. Jr. Islanders (USPHL). Prior to joining Danbury Arena, Casey worked at MSG Networks for four years in the On-Air Promotions and Commercial Traffic departments. There, he wrote and edited commercial spots for MSG teams and original programming, generated on-air promo copy for the Rangers, Devils and Red Bulls on-air talent and logged commercial spots for the sales teams. He graduated from Marist in 2017 with a major in sports communication with a minor in theater. He resides in LaGrangeville, NY.