Coach Kelly entered the 1997-98 season in his ninth year as head coach of IUP. Under coach Kelly the IUP Ice Hockey team boasts an eight-year WPCHA League record of 60-32-5. The combined league, playoff, and ACHA record is a strong 91-80-10. In eight seasons under Kelly’s direction the team has had to WPCHA regular season titles, seven playoff appearances and three WPCHA Championship appearances. In the recent years IUP has been ranked among the top Division II ACHA teams.
Coach Kelly has been involved in hockey in the area for more than fifteen years. His experience includes teams at every age level. His USA Hockey certified coach’s experience includes teams at the adult and children’s Learn To Play levels, local youth and P.A.H.L. levels, junior levels, and eight years as the head coach of the Great Lake Nittany Valley Region of the Keystone State Games, where he is currently director for the region. Coach Kelly continues as the head coach of the WPIHL AA Indiana High School Varsity team. With a league record of 65-34-9 and an overall record of 93-47-13, coach Kelly continues to lead IHS to consistent playoff appearances. His five seasons with HIS have produced five league playoff appearances, three state playoff appearances, and one state semi-final game, the Penguin Cup in 1995-96.
Coach Kelly assisted for three seasons with the training camps and practices of the East Coast Hockey League’s Johnstown Chiefs. Kelly has been honored twice as a TAHA Top 20 Volunteer. He was a 1994-95 WPIHL All Star Coach, a 1995-96 WPIHL,SHIHL/WPIHL, and TAHA All Star Coach and a 1996-97 WPIHL All Star Coach. Coach Kelly was selected and coached the best Western Pennsylvania high school players on Team Pittsburgh, playing in the annual country-wide, week long Chicago Showcase. Coach Kelly continues to be the Director of the Keystone Hockey Academy, a camp program which features instruction from former and current NHL, IHL,AHL,ECHL, college and high school students. Coach Kelly resides in White Township, outside of Indiana with his wife Marianne and their son Sammy.
Coach Conner returns for his 4th year on the bench for IUP. Coach Conner brings an excellent coaching background as well as a strong playing career to his responsibilities with the IUP forwards. Coach Conner volunteered as assistant coach for the Indiana High School Junior Varsity team and a year as head coach. Coach Conner is a veteran player of IUP, where he played both forward and defense during his career. Coach Conner also served as the team’s President for two years and was a tri-captain his senior year. His high school career was with the Bethel Park program in Pittsburgh. Coach Conner is currently employed at Rupps Sporting Goods, in Pittsburgh.
Returning for his 2nd year as assistant coach is Dan Hestin. Dan’s college hockey career includes playing for IUP Ice Hockey from 1991-96, taking a small break from 1993-95.
Coach Hestin served as assistant captain in the 1995-96 season. Coach Hestin’s high school career includes 2 ½ years at Gateway High School in Monroeville from 1989-91. Dan graduated from IUP in 1997 with a degree in Marketing. Coach Hestin currently is employed at Gateway Publication as Advertising Account Executive, and resides in Monroeville.
In the course of his college career Dave, played for West Virginia Division I team in 1991-92. Coach Burkett finished his college career at IUP from 1992-98, taking a small break from 1995 to 1997. Coach Burkett split the 1997-98 season as goaltender the first semester and goaltending coach the second semester. Dave also served as the teams Director of Social Events in 1994-95. His high school career was with the Indiana High School, under the direction of head coach Sam Kelly. Coach Burkett graduated from IUP in 1997 with a degree in Marketing. Dave is currently employed by Mid-Atlantic Championship Series as Director of Marketing.