Cavanaugh Signs New Six Year Contract to Lead Men’s Hockey Program
STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut and men’s hockey head coach Mike Cavanaugh have agreed upon terms for a new six-year contract, as announced by director of athletics David Benedict on Thursday afternoon.
“I am pleased that Coach Cavanaugh will be leading our men’s hockey program for the foreseeable future,” Benedict said. “It is well known that Cav was highly sought after following the 2021-22 season and this contract is more in line with his Hockey East peers whose programs are competing for championships. As our new on-campus hockey facility continues to take shape, this contract reaffirms our investment into the program, and of our intention to compete at the highest level. Cav has put UConn men’s hockey on a great path, and I am excited for what’s to come.”
The contract, which is retroactive to May of 2022, is valued at $3.58 million over the six-year term and includes the opportunity to earn bonuses based on team performance.
“I want to thank David Benedict, the Board of Trustees and the leadership at the University of Connecticut for their continued commitment to me and our men’s hockey program,” Cavanaugh said. “We have worked hard to build our program into a Hockey East championship contender and are excited to keep building and working until we raise that first championship banner in our new state-of-the-art facility on campus. The future is bright for our hockey team and I am thrilled to be leading this program as we strive to make all of UConn Nation proud.”
Cavanaugh will head into his 10th season on the bench in 2022-23 and has the Huskies coming off their best season under his leadership. UConn finished the season ranked No. 19 in the final USCHO.com Top-20 poll after finishing 20-16-0 overall, the first time in program history they ended a season ranked in the national polls. UConn’s 20 wins was the highest win total under Cavanaugh and the most wins since his first season in Storrs in 2013-14 (18-14-4). The 20 wins matches their highest win total in the Division I era and the most since that first season in 1998-99.
The Huskies finished with a 14-10-0 Hockey East record, their best league mark since joining the conference in 2015-16. UConn finished tied for fourth in the final standings, matching their highest finish. The Huskies had been tabbed sixth in the Hockey East preseason poll, making it seven out of eight seasons in the league they have outplayed their preseason prediction. UConn has finished as the No. 4 or 5 seed in four of the last five seasons.
Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh Announces Coaching Staff Additions
STORRS, Conn. – UConn men’s hockey head coach Mike Cavanaugh announced the additions of Mike Pereira and Joe Ferriss to his coaching staff. Pereira will join the Huskies as an assistant coach while Ferriss returns to UConn as the director of hockey operations.
“We are thrilled to be adding Mike and Joe to our program,” stated Cavanaugh. “Mike is a tremendous young coach who will bring his knowledge and enthusiasm for the game to the rink every day to help our team continue to get better. He has done a fantastic job in his time at Avon Old Farms and was an accomplished player in Hockey East and knows this league well. And as he follows his brother Joe (Pereira) on our staff, we are excited we can keep it in the family.”
“As a program, we are excited to welcome Joe back to UConn,” Cavanaugh commented. “As a former coach on our staff, and player for us as well, Joe has great knowledge of our program and how we operate on and off the ice. He will be a tremendous asset for us and we are thrilled he will be returning to Storrs.”
Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh announced the hiring of Michael Pereira as an assistant coach with the program starting in the 2022-23 season.
Pereira joins Coach Cavanaugh’s staff after spending the past five years at Avon Old Farms School where he most recently served as the Associate Head Coach with the hockey program. He worked with players throughout the year on skill development on the ice as well as video breakdowns. He also handled the recruiting process for the hockey program.
While at Avon Old Farms, Pereira also held the position of Associate Director of Admissions with the school, consulting with prospective families while fostering relationships throughout the year. He was also in an advisory role for current students at the institution while monitoring their individual progress both in and out of the classroom.
Pereira earned a degree in communications from the University of Massachusetts in 2014, where he played for the Minutemen. He finished his career with tied for sixth place in career points at UMass with 107 and was one of five players in school history to finish with 50 goals and 100 points in their respective careers. He was the 2011 Hockey East Co-Rookie of the Year and named to the NCAA All-Rookie team.
After graduating, Pereira played professionally for three seasons including stops with the AHL’s Worcester Sharks, Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Utica Comets and the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder and Reading Royals. At the conclusion of his playing career, he returned to his high school alma mater in Avon Old Farms where during his playing days he helped lead them to 2010 New England Prep School Championship and was an All-New England, All-Conference and Team MVP.
Pereira has also served as an instructor for the Connecticut Elite Hockey Camp since 2010 where he has worked teaching conditioning, training, and skills to players ranging from six years of age to high school young adults, with a focus on high school level players.
Director of Hockey Operations
Joe Ferriss will return to his alma mater and UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh’s staff as the Director of Hockey Operations. Ferriss begins his second stint with the Huskies after serving as a graduate assistant coach on the staff for two seasons from 2018-2020.
Ferriss makes his return to Storrs after spending the 2021-22 season as an assistant coach at Wesleyan University. Working under head coach and former Husky Chris Potter, Ferriss’s main responsibilities included recruiting prospective student-athletes to the University, practice planning and implementation, and in-game tactical instruction. Along with setting game plans for the team, he also worked with the team’s defensemen and penalty kill.
After graduating from UConn in 2016 with a degree in exercise science, he began his coaching career working with the Boston Bandits NCDC of the USPHL in Bridgewater, Massachusetts where he was an assistant coach and served as the strength and conditioning coach. He was involved with all aspects of the program including on-ice practice planning, game video breakdown and analysis, skating and skill sessions as well as designing and implementing strength and conditions programs for both in-season and off-season.
He returned to Storrs in the fall of 2018 for his first collegiate coaching job on Coach Cavanaugh’s staff, assisting the program with video breakdown of games and practices, developing scouting reports and practice plans, and overseeing undergraduate student managers day-to-day responsibilities.
Prior to graduating from UConn, Ferriss interned with the UConn Sports Performance department where he assisted with coaching workouts for seven different varsity athletic programs. He designed and implemented the baseball freshmen summer training program and assisted with the staff on team program design. He worked directly with student-athletes on instructional training techniques and development.
During his playing days, Ferriss had 32 career points on 14 goals and 18 assists in 120 games. Off the ice, he was a Dean’s List student-athlete from 2012 through 2015, a three-time recipient of all-academic honors from both Atlantic Hockey and Hockey East and named a UConn Senior Scholar-Athlete award recipient.