Nassau County Lions 2022-2023 Coaches Bios
Head Coach 12U AA Major Lions/Head Coach 14U AA Major Lions
Peter Afanasewicz has his roots in Nassau County Hockey, starting 10-plus years ago with the Nassau County House League. He has since moved through the ranks of the program, coaching at the travel level for the past seven years with stops at the 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U, and currently, as head of both the 12U AA and 14U AA Lions teams.
Peter is a Level 4 USA Hockey-certified coach, and has had enjoyed success at each of the age groups he has coached. He is known for challenging his players in all aspects of their game, teaching them that effort and competition is paramount during the game, in addition to fostering a spirit of teamwork and camaraderie both on and off the ice.
He puts the organization and the kids that belong to it first, working with many of the program’s other coaches to help develop their teams. In his tenure at Nassau County Hockey, he spearheaded and helped establish the program’s Thanksgiving weekend “Battle of the Biscuit” Mite Jamboree at Cantiague Park. He also played a key role in establishing and organizing the program’s golf outing fundraiser, with proceeds benefiting the players and growth of the Nassau County Hockey program.
Coach 12U AA Major Lions
Kieran Baisley began his ice hockey playing career with the Nassau County Mite Program. He continued on the travel hockey path, playing his youth hockey with the Long Island Edge, Long Island Gulls, and Connecticut Wolfpack.
He played varsity high school hockey for the Wantagh/Seaford Baymen, and played junior hockey for the New York Applecore program out of Long Beach, New York while in high school. During his high school senior season with Wantagh/Seaford, he helped lead the Baymen to the 2018 Nassau County High School Championship.
Kieran is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, and still participates on Coast Guard ice hockey teams, including the Long Island Warriors, a team comprised of disabled veterans.
Kieran currently serves the Lions as Assistant Coach for the 12UAA Nassau County Lions, as well as a volunteer for the Lions Mite Initiation Program for the 2021-2022 season. He also coached his alma mater for the Wantagh/Seaford/Plainedge Kings Varsity, and Middle School teams for the 2021-2022 season. Kieran is currently Head Coach for the Kellenberg High School Junior Varsity team, and an Assistant Coach for the 14UAA Nassau County Lions for the 2022-2023 season.
Head Coach 12U A Minor Lions/Head Coach 14U AA Major Lions
Nassau Lions 12U Minor and 14U Major Head Coach Chris Black is currently a Level 4-certified USA Hockey Coach, and has been with the program since the 2013-2014 season. It was there that Chris began to learn the ropes in the program’s Mite Initiation Program before moving into the ranks of the travel level at the 8U level.
The following season, Chris served as 8U Travel Assistant Coach at the Minor and Major levels, before assuming the role of Mite Major Head Coach. Ever since, Chris has advanced through the ranks, serving as Head Coach at the 10U Major and Minor, and 12U Minor levels over the years.
“I have been lucky enough to have been surrounded by some great coaches over the years, and have learned the many ways to approach coaching youth hockey to get the most out of a player,” said Chris. “The best part of being involved with the Nassau County Lions program is witnessing the progression of the player’s skill set from a hockey standpoint, as well as watching them grow and mature as individuals.”
Head Coach 16U AA Major & 18U AA Lions
With more than 20 years of ice hockey coaching experience under his belt, Ian Clugston grew up playing youth hockey in the New York City area, having moved to Long Island during high school from the Queens area, where he settled and played for the Massapequa High School hockey club.
His two-plus decades of coaching experience includes many stops in the local hockey scene, including:
- Head Coach of the LI Edge Bantams from 2003-2005;
- Head Coach of the Port Washington Storm Midget summer tournament team from 2003-2005, where 17 of his 20 players went on to skate at various levels of collegiate ice hockey;
- Head Coach of the Nassau County High School Vytra in 2006, only the second team from Nassau County to capture the prestigious Vytra Cup Long Island Championship;
- Head Coach of the Hofstra University Men’s ACHA Ice Hockey Team from 2006-2010, where led the team from being ranked 132nd in the nation, to 11th in the nation by the time he exited the program;
- Director of Hockey Operations at Long Beach Arena from 2007-2008;
- ACHA Atlantic Regional Scouting Director from 2008-2011;
- Associate Coach of the Farmingdale State Rams Men’s Ice Hockey team from 2010-2011, including a Final Four finish at the ACHA Nationals in Holland, Michigan;
- On-ice assistant for various USA hockey camps and clinics; and
- A member of the Nassau County Lions travel coaching staff since 2020.
In 2008, Ian was honored with the ACHA Atlantic Region Coach of the Year Award. With the Massapequa Ice Hockey Club, he served in various playing and coaching capacities over the seven-year span of 1999-2006. After a brief hiatus, he returned to the Massapequa Ice Hockey Club in 2012, and remains a fixture with the program.
“What you can expect from me as a coach is a disciplined but fun style of hockey, complete with high-tempo practices that challenge the players to try things that they are not used to, and force them out of their comfort zone,” said Ian. “My practices consist of complex drills that emphasize puck movement and force players to think, in addition to systematic game play, and a fun locker room atmosphere that allows players to be themselves in a positive and supportive fashion.”
When not on a sheet of ice, Ian runs a small business, and spends his free time with his wife Nicole, and their five children.
Lions Goalie Coach
Michael Filardo grew up on Long Island, where he played goal for the New York Apple Core Juniors for four seasons. He began his collegiate career playing for the University of New Hampshire (UNH), NCAA Division I Hockey East Conference from 1998-2001, and while at UNH, received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology Physical Education Pedagogy.
Michael represented the United States on Team USA at the Deaflympics for three consecutive years. He received a Gold Medal in 1995 in Helsinki, Finland, a Silver Medal in 1999 in Davos, Switzerland, and Bronze Medal in 2003 in Sundsvall, Sweden.
Michael has been involved as a member of the goaltending coaching staff for USA Hockey, and holds a USA Hockey Advanced Coaching Certification. In addition to his involvement with USA Hockey, Michael has coached at various camps, clinics and seminars across the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Locally, Michael served as a goaltending coach for the Long Island Arrows for seven seasons, and for the Long Island Rebels prior to joining the Nassau County Lions.
Off the ice, Michael serves as Director of Facilities at Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf in Mill Neck, New York. He resides in Massapequa with his wife and four children.
16U A Minor Lions Coach
Todd Fox, a certified USA Hockey Level 4 coach, will be serving as a coach for the Nassau County Lions 16U Minor team for the 2022-2023 season. A Smithtown, native, Todd began playing hockey at six-years-old, and began his travel career with the Island Blades from ninth grade until graduating high school. During that time, the Blades won two State Championships at the Bantam and Midget Levels, and placed second in the 1992 National Tournament in Peoria, Illinois.
Following high school, Todd attended Bradley University and played five years for the ACHA Division II club team, where they won two league championships and played at Nationals in Tampa, Florida in 1996, and the following year in St. Louis in 1997.
In addition to coaching youth hockey, Todd remains an active participant in the Midnight Adult Hockey League. In his spare time, he owns a construction company that specializes in building luxury apartments in New York City.
Head Coach 10U A Minor Lions
In his sixth year with the Nassau County Lions program, Matt Gertler’s playing career was spent with the Freeport Arrows Tier II program, from 8U through the 17U levels. Matt was a goaltender, and ended his playing career by leading the 2004 17U Midget Arrows to the New York State Championship.
Matt began coaching in 2003 as a goaltending instructor. From 2004-2012, he worked for Russian Hockey Schools, primarily as Head Goaltending Instructor, and in 2005, he began working as an Assistant Coach with the Freeport Arrows Hockey program at both the Squirt and Midget levels. In 2008, he became Head Coach at the Squirt level for the Arrows, and advanced to the Bantam level as Head Coach between the years of 2008-2017. In 2012, Matt attained his USA Hockey Level 5 coaching certification, the highest such level one can attain.
In addition to his playing and coaching careers, Matt also served the USA Hockey community as an on-ice referee from 1999-2005.
In 2015, he won the Steve Gertler Coaching Award, and from 2014-2017, Matt worked for Skate 2 Score as an instructor. In 2017, he joined the Nassau County Lions program as an Assistant Coach at the Bantam level.
“The main focus on youth hockey is to develop players, and make kids love the game,” said Matt. “Being in a positive and highly-motivational environment will help with success, both on and off the ice. Through dedication, effort, attitude, and discipline, players will thrive on the ice, and turn into successful people away from the rink.”
Assistant Coach 12U A Minor Lions
Scott Gould was born and raised in Southern New Jersey, later moving to Pennsylvania where he played Division II baseball for East Stroudsburg University.
With deep family ties to the law enforcement community, Scott followed his lifelong dream of becoming a police officer, and moved to New York to join the New York City Police Department. After serving with the NYPD for 22 years, Scott recently retired, and has since moved onto his second passion, coaching young athletes.
The 2022-2023 season marks Scott’s third season as an Assistant Coach with the Nassau County Lions travel hockey program.
“My goal is to share my strong love for the game of hockey, and my desire to help develop young athletes, providing kids with the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge, encourage teamwork and work ethic in order to help them succeed at the next level of hockey and anything they endeavor to do in the future,” said Scott. “I will always be a student of the game, and learning as much as I can from my peers.”
Scott is a USA Hockey Level 3-Certified Coach, and recently learned how to flawlessly operate a zamboni.
Coach 10U AA Major Lions
A member of the Lions program from the start, Vincent Hellemeyer played his youth hockey for Nassau County from the Mite Level through Bantams, serving as team captain for the 1997 Bantam Lions that captured the New York State Championship.
Vincent played three years of junior hockey, from 1997-2000, for the New York Apple Core program in the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL), serving as assistant captain for two of those season. He was a two-time selection to the EJHL All-Star Game. He also represented Team New York at the USA Hockey Select 15, 16 and 17 National Camps from 1997-1999. He finished the Select 17 camp as the group’s leading scorer, and was named to the All-Festival team.
He was chosen to play for the USA Select-17 team that competed in the 1999 Four Nations Tournament in Prague, Czech Republic.
Vincent moved onto the collegiate ranks, having played four years of Division-I college ice hockey at Yale University from 2000-2004. During his tenure at Yale, Vincent was a member of the 2001 Ivy League Champion Bulldogs, and for the 2003-2004 season, was selected captain of the team. He graduated Yale tied for the school record for most career short-handed goals. He was honored with the Malcolm G. Chase Award as a senior at Yale, presented to the member of the team who has best served and upheld the traditions of Yale Hockey.
Upon graduation, Vincent turned to the pro ranks, playing three years in the CHL, UHL, and ECHL from 2004-2007. He was awarded the Players' Choice Award, as voted on by his teammates, during his last year in the ECHL.
After his playing career ended, he coached his former junior team, the New York Applecore, for two seasons from 2007-2009. Vincent is currently entering his fourth season coaching at the youth hockey level, starting with 8U and working his way up to his latest role at the 10U Major level with the Nassau County Lions.
Coach 8U Major Lions
Scott Kenney has been with the Nassau County Lions travel program for more than three years, serving as an Assistant Coach. From Mites through Bantam, Scott played his travel hockey as a defenseman with the Freeport Arrows Mites to Bantams, and spent time playing for Massapequa JV Hockey in seventh and eighth grades. From 1989-1993, Scott served as Captain of the Bethpage High School Varsity Ice Hockey team.
Outside of his career on the ice, Scott was a multi-sport athlete, playing football as well as lacrosse. Scott played his high school football for Bethpage High School, and was named to the All-County Team on three occasions, and was also named to the Tri-State Daily News Select Football team. After graduating Bethpage High School, Scott continued his football career, playing for the Hofstra University Football team.
Coach 10U AA Major Lions
Entering his fourth season as a Nassau County Lions coach, Sean McQuade played travel youth hockey locally for the LI Arrows at the 10U and 12U levels, before joining the Long Island Gulls where he played through the 14U level.
In addition to his time spent in the travel hockey ranks, Sean played four years of varsity hockey at St. Mary's High School, where he served as captain for two seasons, and was a member of three New York State High School Championship Teams (1995, 1996 & 1997).
Sean was invited to attend USA Hockey’s Select Camp on three occasions, as a 15U player where he was invited to the New York State Camp, selected for the 16 National Camp, and also selected a year later for the 17 National Camp.
In 1995 and 1996, Sean represented Long Island in the Empire State Games, and was a member of the Gold Medal winning team in 1996.
Sean played four years of junior hockey with the New York Applecore program, where he was voted team captain on two occasions. He was a member of the 1996 U.S. National Championship Junior team before attending Oswego State University where he played from 1998-1999.
After his playing ended, Sean entered the coaching ranks at his alma mater St. Mary's High School, where he helped guide the team to a New York State High School Championship in 1999-2000 as an assistant coach.
Eric C. Peck
Coach 8U Minor and Major Lions
Eric C. Peck started his hockey playing career as a goaltender, and has more than 20 years of coaching experience with the Nassau County Hockey program.
He started his career in 2001-2002 within the ranks of the Nassau County Hockey League (NCHL) and spent a little under a decade coaching rec league hockey before moving onto the ranks of travel hockey, getting his start as an assistant coach at the 8U level. Over the course of the past decade, Eric has always had one foot firmly planted at the 8U level, and had served as Head Coach as well at the 10U Minor and Major, 12U Minor and Major, 14U Major, and 16U Minor levels.
As Head Coach, Eric helped guide the 2015-2016 Nassau County 10U Minor team to the capture the LIAHL Division Championship over PAL, and the following season, coached the 10U Major team to the Metro League 10U Major Championship.
When not volunteering his time with the Lions program, Eric has served as an Off-Ice Official for the National Hockey League (NHL) for the New York Islanders as Video Goal Judge, Concussion Spotter, and multiple other positions over the course of the past 10-plus seasons at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Barclay’s Center, NYCB Live, and most recently, UBS Arena at Belmont.
Assistant Coach 16U AA Major & 18U AA Lions
Jake Rosenthal played his youth hockey on Long Island for the Gulls and Edge, as well as for the Levittown Ice Falcons. In his senior year, he represented Nassau County in the Vytra Cup game, earning co-MVP honors in the win over the Suffolk County squad.
Jake then went on to play Junior A in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL) for the Soo Indians. After the Indians folded, he was traded to Blind River, where he was named first-team NOJHL All-Star for the 2007-2008 season. He then went on to Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts, playing at the NCAA DIII level for four years. Jake set team records for career saves, goals against average, save percentage, games started, wins, and shutouts.
Coach 10U AA Major Lions
Jeremy Schwartz began his hockey career on the streets of Levittown in the world of roller hockey. During the Islanders dynasty years in the early 1980’s, Jeremy joined a newly formed roller hockey league called PBC (later renamed PAL).
After playing many years as a roller hockey goalie, he made the move to the world of ice hockey by joining the Nassau County Hockey League at the age of 14. The following year, he became the goalkeeper for the Levittown Falcons High Varsity High School Ice Hockey team, where he played three seasons. After high school, he played more than 15 years for various adult hockey clubs, which included annual tournament trips to Montreal and Chicago.
Jeremy is currently a physical education teacher in Queens. Being a PE provided Jeremy the opportunity to learn a variety of sports, including soccer, wrestling, tennis, and basketball. He also did some volunteer work by coaching ice hockey for the Town of Oyster Bay. In 2017, he became head coach of the Farmingdale Middle School Ice Hockey club.
Assistant Coach 16U AA Major & 18U AA Lions
A new addition to the Nassau County Lions travel program, Coach Bill Seeley played defense for Massapequa High School’s Varsity team as a ninth grader. After graduating, Bill continued his service to the Massapequa Ice Hockey program, serving as a coach for the Massapequa High School Junior Varsity squad for two years.
He played at the travel level, having played for the New York Bobcats at the Bantam and Midget levels, and continued his playing career as a member of the Bismarck Bobcats Junior B team.
With the Lions, Bill splits his time between the Lions 16U AA and 18U AA teams, working primarily with the team’s defensemen.
Coach 12U A Minor Lions
Rob Scuderi enters his third year coaching for the Nassau County Lions. In his youth, Rob played for the Long Island Gulls and New York Applecore and played his high school hockey at St. Anthony’s in Huntington until his graduation in 1997.
Rob played four years of college hockey for the Boston College Eagles, where, as a freshman, pitched in with 24 assists in 42 games.
In 1998, Rob was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth round with the 134th overall pick of the NHL Entry Draft, but chose to remain and play out his entire four-year career with the Eagles. He played his final college game in 2001 at the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament Finals, a game that the Eagles won in overtime to capture the National Championship. Rob was named to the 2001 NCAA All-Tournament Team.
In 2001, Scuderi began his professional career in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the Pittsburgh Penguins' AHL affiliate, and played his first career NHL game during the 2003-2004 season.
Rob went on to play 783 career regular season games in the NHL for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks, and is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion, raising the Cup as a member of the Penguins in 2009, and again with the Kings in 2012.
Rob currently resides in Garden City, where he and his wife Courtney have four children.
Head Coach 14U A Minor Lions
Coach Brian Smith has amassed more than 35 years of hockey experience both as a player and coach.
Brian grew up playing travel hockey as a child and teen on Long Island, and continued to play throughout college.
Brian has been with the Nassau County Lions Hockey program since 2015, working with several age groups from 6U through 12U, in both head coach and assistant coaching roles.
His philosophy focuses on skill development, and practice to game transfer, while adhering to the principles of USA Hockey’s ADM model. He currently holds a Level 4 USA Hockey coaching certification.
Lions Skills Coach
Kevin Smith has been training hockey players in the Long Island area for more than 20 years, and brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience to his first season as Lions Skills Coach.
Kevin played Division III collegiate ice hockey for the University of Scranton from 1994-1998, and prior to his college days, was a member of the formidable St. Mary’s Varsity Ice Hockey team in the mid-1990s. He also spent both of his Midget seasons playing out of Cantiague Park as a member of the Nassau County Lions.
He has served as Head Coach for a number of high school and travel teams, and in 2014, led the Manhasset High School Varsity Hockey team to the New York State Championship.
Kevin specializes in skill development, allowing players to explore their capabilities, and achieve their full potential. He strongly believes that skill training is the essential building block for the developing of great hockey players, and focuses heavily on this area of the game when working with his students.