Gil Alicea (Peewee A)
Gil is a lifelong Ridgefield resident who began his hockey career at the age of five. He graduated from Ridgefield High School in 2008 where he played four years of varsity hockey and two years of varsity baseball, earning All-FCIAC honors in baseball. In his junior year, his team won the Fairfield County Interscholastic Conference tournament, Ridgefield’s first title in more than 20 years. Gil attended Indiana University, graduating in May 2012 with a BA in public financial management. At Indiana he played men’s league hockey and won two school/town championships. Gil currently works in Shelton for the Department of Defense with the Defense Contract Management Agency.
Peter Bafundo (Bantam A)
Peter grew up in New Fairfield and played all of his youth hockey in Ridgefield. He was a four-year starter at Siena College in Albany, NY, including two trips to the CHA national championships. He is in his fourth year of coaching and couldn't be happier giving back to a program that gave him so much as a child growing up.
Andy Marchison (Peewee AA)
A lifetime Ridgefield resident, Andy began his hockey career at the age of five, playing Mites to Midgets. He was a two-time state champion, winning as both a PeeWee and a Bantam. Andy graduated from Ridgefield High School in 2000. After playing three years of varsity hockey for Ridgefield, he left his senior year to play junior hockey, playing for the Connecticut Jr. Whalers for three seasons. Andy joined the RAHA family for the 2010-11 season with great success. Coaching the Squirt B team, Andy led his team to the Norris Division State Championship. Andy currently lives in Ridgefield. He is married and works for the town.
Hunter Alicea (Squirt AA)
Hunter has lived in Ridgefield his entire life and graduated in May 2015 from Indiana University with a degree in public financial management and a business foundations certificate. He began playing youth hockey at age 5 with Ridgefield before moving to Mid-Fairfield and Brewster. He graduated from Ridgefield High School in 2011 where he played four years of varsity hockey and two years of varsity baseball, being named captain of both teams his senior year. He was also named to a Connecticut senior all-star team for baseball and in college played men’s league hockey and won two school titles. Hunter’s proudest hockey moment came when he played with RAHA and had the opportunity to play at Madison Square Garden during a New York Rangers intermission. He has four years of coaching experience with Ridgefield youth baseball and has been a coach with RAHA for four seasons.
Michele Gintoli (Squirt B)
Michele graduated from Kent in 2006. This is her tenth year coaching and she has her Level 4 CEP. In addition to RAHA, Michele coaches with the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association at the USA Disabled Hockey Festival every year. She also co-captained the first ever US women's deaf national team. She currently plays on two teams in Danbury including a women's travel team called the Danbury Battle Axes. Michele resides in Danbury where she works as a physical therapist assistant for Danbury Hospital home care.
Cathie Bonner (Skating Coach)
Cathie has been a professional skating instructor for more than thirty years, teaching everyone from young children to children with special needs to adults. Cathie is also a hockey coach for the development program at Rippowam School. Skating is her passion and she has taught and directed at numerous rinks in both New York and Connecticut. Her three children all played hockey; her son played his entire career with RAHA and her two daughters played throughout prep school and college. Cathie lives in Ridgefield with her family, where her son is a Ridgefield firefighter. She enjoys spending time with her children and defrosting at the lake.
Sean “Sully” Sullivan (U18/Hockey Director)
Sean has played organized hockey for 19 years. Sean played Junior A Hockey in both the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL) for the Philadelphia Revolution, as well as, the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL)for the Collingwood Blackhawks. Collegiality Sean played for SUNY Cortland in the SUNYAC and then went on to play as a member of the Federal Hockey League (FHL) for the Brewster Bulldogs and Cornwall Nationals.
Sean has coached for over 10 years working with all ages and skill levels. Throughout his years of playing and instructing Sean has gained valuable coaching experience. Sean privately runs lessons, group lessons and clinics on and off the ice. This experience has led Sean to being one of the most sought after coaches in the area. Sean’s passion on the ice translates to the players he coaches, ensuring each player reaches their full potential while having the best on ice experience.
Prior to SHA, Sean was the Director of Hockey Operations for Bronxville Youth Hockey Association for three years. In this role Sean was responsible for all coaches on staff and putting together a curriculum and methodology for the coaches to follow. Sean has also served as one of BYHA’s skills coach. He worked individually with each BYHA team on ice for scheduled skill/skating sessions throughout the season.
Shayne Bingham (Mite Development)
Returning to Connecticut to coach the mites in the Ridgefield hockey program, Coach Bingham is looking to improve his coaching footprint in the youth hockey community. Ready for a new frontier, Coach Bingham believes he would be a great teacher of the game for any age group.
Hockey can provide a great perspective on life and reward each player with much more than they put into it. The game teaches many life lessons that will always go beyond just hockey such as discipline, teamsmanship, and social skills.
Coach Bingham's knowledge of the game, provided through two decades of hockey teams, development camps, and coaching has led him back to the greatest game in the world. From his time growing up with the Westchester Express, playing amongst Division I caliber players in the ECHL with the CT Oilers, and training with future NHL players at Miami of Ohio, he has curated a great understanding for the game.
I am looking forward to teaching the kids fundamental skills of the game and showing them what it means to have fun with this great sport that has given so much back to me.
Billy Casolo (Mite Black)
Billy grew up playing hockey in CT since he was 4 years old. In high school, Billy was team captain and 1st team All-State and FCIAC selection for both ice hockey and baseball. He graduated from Williams College in 2002 where he was team captain of the baseball team and went on to play baseball professionally in Europe. Billy has coached ice-hockey for over 15 years. He was a lead instructor for the STR hockey department under the tutelage of Mike Backman, former New York Ranger, and he was also an assistant coach for the NC Rams Girls Varsity ice hockey team for 8 years, recently winning an FCIAC and State championship. Billy is well tuned in the USA hockey ADM model and has great pleasure in creating fun and creative practice plans to best develop his players skills and confidence. Billy has a masters degree in education and currently resides in Ridgefield with his wife Emily and two hockey playing sons - Drew and Paxson.
Ryan Avery (Mite Yellow)
Ryan is joining RAHA for his second-year coaching in the Mite program. He assisted the Mite White team last year and is currently head coach for the Mite Yellow team. Ryan grew up in Massachusetts playing competitive hockey and continues to play in several local groups. He is excited to share the development and passion for the game with the youngest skaters in the RAHA program. Ryan has one son in the program and two future Lions skaters!
Mike Zarro (Squirt A)
Growing up in Putnam County NY Mike Zarro played his youth hockey in the area. Since graduating college, he has coached hockey for multiple programs at all levels from Learn to Play through High School Varsity. Beginning in 2000, Mike coached the John Jay East Fishkill JV team to 7 Championship appearances in 8 years, bringing home the title 5 times. In 2010, Mike was part of the varsity coaching staff that led the program to a NYS Championship in 2010. As his children began taking interest in hockey Mike transitioned from coaching the high school level and started coaching Learn to Play, 8U, 10U and 12U hockey. Mike is excited to be part of the Lions coaching staff.