Last Thursday afternoon saw the introductory Zoom press conference for both associate head coach Mike Condon and volunteer assistant coach Mike Condon. We profiled the two coaches HERE before their hirings were officially announced by the school.
The following is a compilation of notable quotes from each of them, plus head coach Jerry Keefe, from the presser.
HC Jerry Keefe: “This has been in process for a bit, we feel we hit a home run with both guys.” Keefe talked about both coaches fitting the culture established at NU, that both new coaches “believe in what we believe in here,” and will be a great fit in the culture that has been established at NU over the last ten years.
Keefe on the vibe for his team: “There’s excitement for different reasons, #1 reason is due to how we finished last year. This is a hungry group. The players want to play, it feels like it’s been a long summer because of how last season ended.” Keefe also talked about how he himself is hungry to go out and prove himself in his first year as head coach.
Keefe on Devon Levi: “We feel Devon has a chance to be the best goalie in college hockey.”
Keefe on Jordan Harris: “We as a hockey tea are so fortunate to have Jordan Harris. Jordan is the ultimate Northeastern player and student, and I know our guys feel the same.”
Keefe, on staff responsibilities: Not much changing from the last 10 years. Keefe will still work heavily with forwards and powerplay, whereas Coach McLaughlin and Coach Levine will focus on the defense and the PK. Keefe emphasized that all phases of the game, the staff works together rather than just one guy in charge. This includes Coach Condon having input particularly on defense and the penalty kill, since goaltenders are so involved in those aspects of the game.
Condon, on what he brings to NU with his collegiate and pro experience: College athletics is difficult especially at an institution that values education as much as NU. Important to take care of classroom, mental health, time management as much as the work on the ice.
Levine, on what he brings from his time in Vegas: Being in player development, he has seen what it takes to be a pro. Provides a different perspective. He talked about how as a scout, he initially was trained to look at what players do poorly, but as he learned more in player development, he has changed his thing now to focus on what players can do well and emphasize those points.
Condon mentioned as a local kid, he wanted to compete in Hockey East and the Beanpot as a player, didn’t get the chance. Being able to do that as a coach was important to him. Keefe adds: If I was here we would have recruited Mike to come play at NU
With much of the sports world focusing on the mental health of athletes, we asked about what the staff does to teach kids about taking care of their mental health. All three coaches talked about an open door policy with players to be able to talk about things unrelated to hockey. They mentioned that it’s important that the coaches reach out to the players constantly and make sure they are doing well outside of hockey, with Coach Keefe stating emphatically “we’re here to develop young men.” The coaches talked about trust, and having the best interests of each person, not just the player, at heart.
It was fantastic to have the opportunity to speak with all three coaches, and you can tell they are eager for hockey to return in the fall. The Huskies come into this season a little under the radar, but with big additions on both sides of the bench. Coach Keefe talked about how hungry everyone is, and soon they will have a chance to prove it. Can’t wait for October!
As always, go Huskies!