I'm coach Jay, I fell in love with hockey when I was 11. I played street hockey everyday with people I still call my best friends today. I rollerbladed my paper route except when it snowed! I never played organized hockey in my youth. My only chance to skate was in the winter, and I loved playing pond hockey at Bolton Lake, Charter Oak and Center Springs Park in Manchester. We would play on any pond you could find in Manchester. I played hockey for Manchester High School and graduated in 92'. I've played men's league hockey in Bolton and Enfield for 29 years! I have twin boys Cameron and Nathan that started skating a few years ago with ECHO. I love to watch them skate and hope they develop friendships and a love for the game like I did.
I started skating at age 3, learning to do so as every New England child did in the early 80s…on the ponds. I started young as I had an older brother in youth hockey and wanted to play as well. I joined my first youth organization, Wethersfield-Rocky Hill out of Kingswood Oxford’s arena at age 5. The organization merged with Glastonbury and ultimately became what is today’s Central Connecticut Capitals. As a Squirt I joined Middlesex Youth Hockey out of Weslyan’s arena. I was fortunate to play with an excellent group of players, winning the State Division I tournemnet and going on the New England Division I tournament finishing as the runner up. By age 13, with no high school program in my home town of Rocky Hill to join and maybe some other factors my youth hockey career came to an end.
In 2011 with my son Andrew's interest in hockey increasing we joined ECHO’s learn-to-play program under Coach Grumpy. At the same time, being at the rinks re-ignited my personal love of the game leading me to join a local men’s league. About a decade later I continue playing as an adult, organizing a weekly game out of Norwich of fellow older youth and adult players.
With the well known saying “Leave the game better than you found it” always front and center one my mind, I accepted coaching roles at ECHO starting in Andrew’s second year at ECHO and continuing on today as assistant coach of ECHO’s Midget program The CT Eagles. Being part of player development has been incredibly gratifying and something I would do all over agin if given the opportunity. Growing the game, teaching a life skill, encouraging being a good teammate and respecting the individual have been my motivation as I continue involvement in the sport of hockey today.
I decided to get back into hockey and become an assistant coach when my son Drew was a 1st year mite. Along the way I earned level 4 coaching certification and more importantly built great friendships with both parents & players. Humbled to be an assistant coach on Bantam A for 8th and final year at ECHO. Go Green!
Bantam A Jim Donohue played Tier I hockey in CT from Squirt through Midget. He continued to play in high school at the Division I level at Notre Dame High School, West Haven, CT. Jim went on to play Division I varsity hockey at UCONN. He has coached and instructed youth hockey for over 45 years, as well as having been an Assistant Coach at UCONN. Jim has coached hockey at ECHO for twelve years. He loves the game; he loves teaching the game individually, but more importantly from the team aspect. His coaching philosophy is simple: Play hard, play smart, Have fun!