Our Executive

President – Ian Gallagher

Vice-President – Owen Pighin

Director of Business Development – Kate Wheeler

Director of Marketing – Brittany Kirby

Director of Coach Development – Yogi Svejkovsky

Director of Female Hockey – Owen Pighin

Associate Director of Business Operations – Sasha Lutz

Tournament Manager – Spencer Bennett

Registration Manager – Spencer Bennett

Sponsorship Manager – Emma Beech

Sponsorship Manager – Kris Beech

Treasurer – Fema Belen

Meet Our Team

Ian Gallagher

Ian has lead the Delta Hockey Academy since its inception in 2004. He designed and implemented the South Delta Secondary Hockey Academy Skills Program and has grown the academy to include 8 competitive teams, 7 of which play in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL). Ian is the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Delta Hockey Academy with over 25 years experience working with professional and amateur players, including 12 years with the Vancouver Giants (WHL) from 2004 to 2016. Ian earned his Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta and taught for 15 years in the Edmonton School District.

Owen Pighin
Director of Female Hockey
U17 Female Prep Head Coach

Owen has been coaching competitive male and female hockey since 1983 and in that time has won 18 championships. He earned the Top Coach Award at the Coca-Cola Classic in Vernon in 2012. Owen was the Vice-President of Female Hockey at North Shore Winter Club and the head skills instructor for female hockey. He earned the NSWC Coach of the Year award in 2001 and again in 2002, and attended the Quebec International Tournament in both years. In 2004 Owen was the Head Coach of Team BC at ESSO Women's Nationals and later that year was selected to coach the all-star team for South Coast Female Amateur Hockey League. Owen is the Head Coach and Operator of West Coast All Stars Skills Training. He has coached with the female program at the Delta Hockey Academy since its inaugural year in 2016. Owen has coached 9 NHL players, over 30 WHL players, over 50 Jr A/Jr B players, over 40 NCAA players and over 15 CIS/U-Sports players.

Kate Wheeler
Director of Business Development
U18 Female Prep Assistant Coach

Kate graduated from Quinnipiac University with a degree in Biomedical Marketing in 2012. She earned a NCAA Division 1 athletic scholarship for the women's hockey team and served as an assistant captain from 2010 to 2012. After graduation, Kate played for the Neuberg Highlanders in the DEC League in Austria for the 2012/2013 season. Kate played for Team Ontario Female Prep in 2005 and was the captain in 2007. She played junior hockey for the Oakville Ice and the Toronto Aeros. Kate also manages operations for the Delta Health & Performance Clinic and is a certified strength and conditioning coach. 

Brittany Kirby
Director of Marketing
U17 Female Prep Assistant Coach

Brittany graduated from the University of Toronto in 2014 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree with a double-major in english and history. She played for the University of Toronto women's hockey team from 2009 to 2014 and served as an assistant captain from 2012 to 2014. She was a scholarship recipient of the Larry and Judy Tanenbaum Award of Merit. Prior to university, Brittany played junior hockey for the Connecticut Polar Bears and Taft Prep School in Watertown, Connecticut. She also played junior for the Pacific Steelers from 2004 to 2007 and was named captain in her final year. Brittany coached Team Winnipeg Gold at the 2018 Manitoba Winter Games. Brittany's professional background includes managing executive communications and operations for the VP External Relations at the University of Manitoba and managing executive communications and operations for WE Day and WE Charity in Toronto. Brittany is the skills coach for the South Delta Stars female minor hockey program.

Milan Dragicevic
U18 Prep Head Coach

Milan joined the academy as the Head Coach of Bantam Prep White in 2018/2019. He has an extensive coaching career which includes serving as the head coach of the UBC Men's Hockey Team from 2002 to 2014. He is also the former head coach of Drayton Valley in the AJHL and the Vancouver Giants in the WHL. Milan has strong ties to the Richmond minor hockey community. He is the Director of Development for Richmond Ravens Female Hockey and the Director of Hockey for Richmond Minor. Milan is also the Owner and Operator of Dragicevic Hockey Development.

Steven Hodges
U18 Prep Assistant Coach

Mark Taylor
U18 Female Prep Head Coach

Taylor joins the Delta Hockey Academy as the new U18 Female Prep team. Taylor has a long history of coaching female hockey, most recently with the Greater Vancouver Comets Major Midget female program, where he led the team to 5 straight league titles. In 1976, Taylor was named MVP in the BCHL at the age of 17 with 49 goals and 79 assists. He won a national championship with the University of North Dakota in 1980; that season Taylor was named to the NCAA all-American team and won MVP (now called the Hobey Baker award). Taylor is the second all-time leading scorer in UND history. Following his university career, Taylor went on to play 12 years of professional hockey with the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. In his 1983-84 season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Taylor scored 24 goals and 31 assists in 59 games. Following his career in the NHL, Taylor dedicated himself to coaching and to building the business once owned by his grandfather – Hockey Hall of Famer Cyclone Taylor.

Sasha Lutz
Associate Director Business Operations
U18 Female Prep Assistant Coach

Sasha Lutz joins the academy as a new assistant coach while current assistant coach Kate Wheeler [Quinnipiac ‘12] is on maternity leave. Lutz attended MacEwan University for two years before transferring to the University of Alberta where she played with the Pandas for three seasons and led the team to a national championship in her final season as the captain. Lutz graduated with a Bachelor of Kinesiology majoring in Sports Performance in 2017. During her studies at the University of Alberta, Lutz focused on strength and conditioning at the High Performance and Training Research Centre where she had the opportunity to train varsity athletes, professional athletes and female minor hockey players. After graduation, Lutz worked for the Sports Corporation’s administrative team before heading to Australia to continue her hockey career in the Australian national league.

Yogi Svejkovsky
Director of Coach Development
U17 Prep Head Coach

Yogi is widely regarded as an expert skill development coach and has a long history of coaching both professional and young athletes. Yogi worked as the Skills Coach for the Vancouver Giants of the WHL from 2006 to 2018. As a member of the Giants coaching staff, Yogi won a Memorial Cup in 2007. Yogi was a 1st round draft pick (17th overall) of the NHL Washington Capitals. He went on to play 4 years in the NHL for the Capitals and Lightning and holds the Capitals record for most goals scored by a rookie (4) in a single game. Prior to his time in the NHL, Yogi was a WHL and AHL Allstar. He served as Hockey Director for Seafair Minor Hockey from 2009 to 2014 and Director of Hockey for the Saint Georges Saints from 2017 to 2019. He is currently working as the Hockey Advisor for South Delta Minor Hockey, as role he started in 2015.

Kris Beech
Mental Performance Coach
U17 Prep Assistant Coach & Skating Coach

Kris was the assistant coach of the Midget Prep team in 2018/2019. Kris is the Founder of AIM Mindfulness and is a Certified Mindfulness Instructor (McLean Meditation Institute 2015). He earned a Masters of Science in Sports Management from Ulster University in 2016. Kris was selected by the Washington Capitals, 7th overall pick in the 1999 NHL entry draft. He played 7 seasons in the NHL and AHL for the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Vancouver Canucks. Kris also played 8 seasons in Europe (Sweden, Finland, Czech Rep., Germany, Austria, and N. Ireland). Prior to his career in the NHL, Kris played 4 seasons in the WHL with the Calgary Hitmen, winning the WHL Ed Chynoweth Cup with the Calgary Hitmen in 1999. Kris also won the AHL Calder Cup championship title with the Hershey Bears in 2006. In 2010, Kris won the Swedish Hockey League championship title (HV71).

Rick Lanz
U16 Prep Coach

Rick's extensive professional career started when he was drafted by the Oshawa Generals in the OHL and played in the World Junior Hockey Championships. He was selected in the 1st round (7th overall) in the 1980 NHL entry draft by the Vancouver Canucks. He played in the NHL for 12 years with the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Black Hawks, and Tampa Bay Lightning. He played in the World Championships and won a bronze medal in 1984/85. Rick also played in the Swiss Elite League Division 1. Rick has over 15 years of experience as head coach/GM in the IHL, WHL and BCHL and received Coach of the Year Honors in the BCHL. He coached teams to the RBC Cup twice and won it in 2006. He has coached numerous NHL players such as Scott Gomez, Kyle Turris, Milan Lucic, Patrick Weircoich, Mike and Mark Santorelli, Ryan Hollweg, and Brad Hunt. Rick is the Co-owner of Gateway and Hockey.com Amateur Scout for 10 years with the Colorado Avalanche. He is currently an amateur scout for the St. Louis Blues​. Rick served as the E15 Head Coach in 2018/2019.

Bayne Koen
U16 Prep Coach

Bayne Koen joined the Delta Hockey Academy in 2019 as the new coach of Bantam Prep White. Bayne has an extensive coaching resume including his most recent role as the head coach of the North Van Wolf Pack Junior B hockey club where he lead the team to the Junior B PJHL championship title. Bayne also earned the title Coach of the Year for the PJHL in 2018/2019.

Spencer Bennett
Registrar & Tournament Manager
U15 Prep Green Head Coach

Spencer has coached numerous teams at the Delta Hockey Academy including E15, Bantam Varsity White and Midget Prep. Spencer was also an on-ice instructor for the South Delta Secondary Hockey Academy Skills Program. Spencer played in the AHL for the Abbotsford Heat & the Portland Pirates. He played in the ECHL for the Bakersfield Condors, Alaska Aces, Orlando Solar Bears & Gwinnett Gladiators. Spencer was drafted in the 5th round (141st overall) by the Calgary Flames in the 2009 draft. He played in the WHL for the Portland Winterhawks & Vancouver Giants and he played junior hockey in the BCHL for the Burnaby Express & Surrey Eagles.

Harry Dion
U15 Prep Green Assistant Coach

Harry has coached male and female hockey for over 30 years. He is NCCP Certified High Performance 1 Coach with NCCP Level 3 Hockey Theory. Harry has coached at the Delta Hockey Academy for many years including E15, Bantam Varsity and Bantam Prep White. Harry was the assistant coach for the Team BC female program at the Canada Winter Games and was a two-time assistant coach for the BC Best Ever male program. He has 4 years coaching experience for the BC High Performance Program and over 7 years of experience coaching with Semiahmoo Minor Hockey. Harry was also a three-time head coach for Team BC Female at the ESSO Nationals.

Shawn McBride
U15 Prep Black Head Coach

Shawn was the head coach of the Delta Hockey Academy Midget Varsity team from 2016 to 2018 and the assistant coach of Bantam Prep Green in 2018/2019. He coached Bantam A1 and Midget A1 and went to the provincial finals with both groups. Shawn is also the head coach of the BC Lightning spring program. He is the on- and off-ice instructor with Impact Hockey. Shawn's coaching experience includes working with current NHL players such as Brendan Dillon, Ryan Johansen and Shea Theodore, as well as numerous semi-pro, major junior, and junior hockey players.

Brent Thurston
U15 Prep Black Assistant Coach

Brent has been playing and coaching hockey for over 30 years. He is active in the Delta hockey community as a coach and on-ice skills instructor. Brent has coached the Bantam Prep, Bantam Varsity and E15 teams at the Delta Hockey Academy. He has also worked as a skills coach at Burnsview and South Delta Secondary. Brent's career highlights include winning the Memorial Cup with the Spokane Chiefs, earning a spot on the First All-Star Team and later being drafted by the Vancouver Canucks. Brent played professional hockey in Sweden. He was the first player in the Canadian National Team program to play for Canada in both Ice Hockey and Inline Hockey, winning two gold and two silver medals. Brent helped design the National Standards Skills Testing program with Hockey Canada and has traveled throughout Canada to assist Hockey Canada and other organizations with on-ice skill evaluations and development.

Tim Preston
U15 Head Coach

Tim has worked for the Delta Hockey Academy since 2014 as the Head Coach of the Bantam Varsity team and the Bantam Prep Green team. He led the Bantam Varsity team to a CSSHL League Championship and Playoff Championship in 2014. Tim's coaching experience started in 2002 and his specialization spans from teaching and developing young players to the NHL level. Tim was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in 1999. He played in the WHL for the Seattle Thunderbirds for 5 years. Tim is the head on-ice instructor at Impact Hockey Development (IHD) and is also the Owner and Operator of the Lightning Spring Hockey Program.

Riley Sweeney
U15 Assistant Coach

Riley grew up playing hockey with North Delta Minor Hockey from 1997 until 2008 when he started playing with the Greater Vancouver Canadians. After Major Midget, Riley moved on to compete with the Surrey Eagles from 2009-2011. He then earned a scholarship to NCAA Michigan Tech University where he received a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree upon his graduation in 2015. While at Michigan Tech in 2013, he attended the Great Lakes Invitational Outdoor Tournament and was named to the All Tournament Team. In 2015, Riley was awarded tournament MVP at the Winter Carnival Tournament, WCHA Defensive Player of the Week February 1st to 7th, and Rick Webster "SISU" Award. After graduation, Riley returned to the Surrey Eagles as an assistant coach. Riley's professional career started with the Indianapolis Fuel (ECHL) in 2017 and then the Kansas City Mavericks (ECHL) the following season. In 2019 Riley moved to France to play for the Les Ducs d'Angers (France Synerglace Ligue Magnus).

Keenan Scardina
Assistant Coach

Keenan is an alumnus of the Delta Hockey Academy; he played 1 year with the E15 team and 2 years with the Midget Prep team before the start of his junior hockey career. Keenan played junior in the VIJHL for Campbell River and then in the SJHL for Kindersley. He coached the Bantam Varsity team from 2017 to 2019. Keenan graduated from Douglas College in 2020.

Nolan Gallagher
Equipment Manager
Assistant Coach

Nolan has coached at the Delta Hockey Academy since 2015. Nolan travelled to China in 2018 as the assistant coach of the Bantam Varsity team as they competed against local Chinese hockey teams. Nolan is an alumnus of the Delta Hockey Academy where he played for 3 years before playing in the SJHL for the Estevan Bruins and the BCHL for the Coquitlam Express. Nolan graduated from the Vermillion Fire School in 2016 as a certified fire fighter and first responder. Nolan is a certified development level 1 coach.

Rob Fuchs
Goalie Coach

Rob graduated from Hamline University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management. He played 4 years of NCAA hockey for Marian College and Hamline University and was named 2nd team all-conference as a freshman. Rob was the goalie coach of the BCHL Junior A Surrey Eagles from 2010 to 2014, earning the title of Western Canadian Champs and RBC Cup Semi-Finalists. Rob also worked as the goalie coach for Simon Fraser University from 2008 to 2011. He is the co-owner and operator of Pro-Formance Goalie Schools.

Jordan Mackenzie
Strength & Conditioning Coach

Jordan has over 10 years of experience as a strength and conditioning coach with elite athletes. He spent 6 years as an intern and assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Vancouver Canucks. He also worked with the Coquitlam Express (BCHL) for one season. Jordan has a Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching degree with a specialization in Kinesiology. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NCCP trained level 1, holds a high five certificate, BCRPA fitness theory weight training and personal training, and is certified in CPR and First Aid. Jordan is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Delta High Performance Clinic.

Tamara Jobke
Education Advisor

Tamara has worked as the teacher liaison and education advisor at the Delta Hockey Academy since 2012. Tamara also worked as a Strength and Conditioning instructor for the skills academy as a certified personal trainer. Tamara designed and implemented Superfit 11/12 and Health Psychology 11 while working as a Physical Education and Psychology Teacher/Coach in the Delta School District. Tamara is a UBC graduate with a Bachelor of Physical Education, Fitness Management and a Bachelor of Education. She is also a member of the CSSHL Education Advisor Committee for 2019-2020.

Elisa Glennon
Education Advisor

Elisa has worked for South Delta Secondary School since 2003. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with both a Bachelor or Arts degree and a Bachelor of Education degree. Elisa also received her Masters in Education from Simon Fraser University. She has taught Physical Education, Food Studies and Nutrition for almost 20 years. Elisa is a health and wellness advocate with a passion for hockey and high performance sport. She coached both boys and girls hockey when her three children were young. Elisa still plays recreational co-ed hockey in the South Delta community where she lives with her family of five.

Jackie Friesen
English & Social Studies Teacher

Jackie graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in english and history as well as a Bachelor of Education degree. Jackie teaches English, Socials and Drama in the Delta School District. She is the PR and Box Office Coordinator for the yearly musicals at the Equinox Theatre at South Delta Secondary School. Jackie is an avid Canucks fan and comes from a family where watching Hockey Night in Canada on Saturdays was a weekly religious event. Jackie is a new mom to a future goaltender and alumnus of the Delta Hockey Academy.

Kate Prefontaine
Social Studies & Planning Teacher

Kate graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and humanities as well as a Bachelor of Education degree. She also earned a certificate in religious studies from SFU and a Stagecraft/Event Technology Degree from Douglas College. Kate teaches Socials, Aboriginal Studies and Drama/Stagecraft in the Delta School District. She is the Technical Director for the Equinox Theatre at South Delta Secondary School and is generally awesome.

Ayesha Koome
Athletic Therapist

Ayesha completed a Bachelors of Athletic and Exercise Therapy at Camosun College in 2018. She then passed her National Board Certification exams to be a Certified Athletic Therapist and Certified Exercise Physiologist. Ayesha has worked as a therapist in many different environments. She has worked with high performance sports such as with Field Hockey Canada, Langara College and U17 Soccer Nationals. She also has the experience of working with many different conditions such as those with a cancer diagnoses, heart and lung disease as well as spinal cord injuries. As an Exercise Physiologist and Certified Athletic Therapist, Ayesha uses manual therapy, movement assessment and exercise as a rehabilitation tool to help people get back to doing what they love and achieve their goals.

Lydia Maxwell
Athletic Therapist

Lydia completed a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Biomedical Physiology/Kinesiology and Psychology with a concentration in active rehabilitation at Simon Fraser University in 2015. She then continued her education in Calgary as a post graduate student at Mount Royal University where she completed an advanced certificate in Athletic Therapy. In November 2016 she passed her National Board Certification exam with the Canadian Athletic Therapy Association to become a certified Athletic Therapist. Lydia has spent her whole life invested in the sports world. From being a high-level soccer and lacrosse player, youth soccer coach as well as an avid fan of all sports, she always knew she wanted her career to keep her in the sporting world. She runs a private practice in the Delta Health and Performance Clinic. She is also the assistant Athletic Therapist with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Super REX program, working with Canada's top youth female soccer players.

Brett Willows

Brett obtained his Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology from the University of Toronto in 2016 before completing his Master of Physical Therapy from the University of Manitoba. For the last 5 years, Brett has held his National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer designation allowing him to work with recreational to elite athletes in pursuit of their fitness goals. Clinically, Brett has had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings including clinics, gyms and sideline settings, highlighted with his experience as Team Newfoundland’s Physiotherapist at the 2018 and 2019 Canadian National Ball Hockey Championships. While at the University of Toronto, Brett was named a CIS Academic All-Canadian 4 years while playing for the Men’s Varsity Hockey team. Brett’s passion for hockey granted him to opportunity to dress 1 game with the Toronto Maple Leafs (2013) and serve as emergency back-up goalie for the Winnipeg Jets (2017-2018).