Heffernan leaves Western New England bench, takes junior hockey job with EHL’s Chiefs

Greg Heffernan earned 81 wins at Western New England from 2009 to 2020 (photo: WNE Athletics).

After 12 years as Western New England’s coach, Greg Heffernan has stepped down to become the coach and general manager of the EHL’s Connecticut Chiefs.

Western New England did not play during the 2020-21 season.

Heffernan finishes with an 81-181-18 mark behind the bench at WNE.

“We are extraordinarily pleased to bring a coach of Greg’s pedigree and passion to our organization,” Chiefs owner and president Brandon Johnson said in a statement. “Over the last couple of seasons, we have grown considerably to become a winning playoff team. We believe that Greg will take us to the next level and become a consistent championship-caliber team. Just as importantly, with Greg’s contacts and reputation, he will help a multitude of our organization’s athletes take the next steps in advancing their hockey careers.”

During the 2019-20 season, Heffernan led WNE to its best winning percentage in 18 years and reached the ECAC Northeast semifinals before being eliminated by the tournament’s top-seed and NCAA tournament participant Wentworth.

“I’m extraordinarily proud of building a successful program with WNE,” Heffernan said. “The administration and students were always with us and I’m grateful for all of their support. When I heard about this amazing opportunity with the Chiefs, I was intrigued by it and all it had to offer. In terms of what I was looking for in the next step in my career, this checked off all the boxes, and after meeting with Mr. Johnson and (VP and director of coaching) Ike (Corriveau), I knew I had to be a part of this organization.”

While he was proud of his success on the ice, Heffernan was thrilled by what his players did off the ice.

“We had our success on the ice (at WNE) because we had very intelligent young men striving even harder for academic success off the ice,” said Heffernan. “We consistently placed double-digits numbers of our players into the CCC Academic All-Conference (posting GPAs of 3.30 or higher). I intend to instill that same emphasis on academic success to our Chiefs players.”

Prior to Western New England, Heffernan was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Fredonia and was a graduate assistant and video coordinator at Mercyhurst.

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