The Norwich Sea Captains are proud to announce Kevin Cunningham as the first Head Coach and General Manager of the franchise. 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 Sea Captains will play as a team with speed, energy and intelligence, making the game difficult for their opponents.
Coach Cunningham comes to Norwich from the Danbury Jr Hat Tricks, where he compiled a 47-37-1-4 record over the past two seasons, finishing both regular seasons earning home ice advantage in the Fraser Cup Playoffs after back-to-back second places finishes in their division. Under his tutelage, thirteen Danbury players committed to college programs, seven of them at the NCAA Division II/III level, while maintaining a high level of academic success. He also had three players sign NAHL Tenders and one selected in the NAHL Draft during his two season in Danbury.
Prior to Danbury, Cunningham led 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. 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, four Chiefs alumni advanced 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. Six other members of that team have subsequently made NCAA DIII commitments.
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 and Southeast Districts of USA Hockey and has previously held similar roles with the Atlantic and New England Districts.