Our Staff

Darren Hersh, Executive Director

Darren Hersh, Executive Director

Darren Hersh co-founded The Goalie Academy in 1996 after a successful hockey playing career that included an ECAC Championship and Playoff MVP Award with Bowdoin College in 1993 and a Central Hockey League Championship with Wichita Thunder in 1994. Hersh was the Goalie Coach for the Reading Royals, 2013 ECHL Kelly Cup Champions, from 2010-2014.  In the time Hersh was with the Royals, the team was affiliated with Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, & Washington Capitals.  With Reading, and with Johnstown Chiefs in 2009, Darren has been fortunate to have been able to work with several goalies who have spent time in the NHL, such as Philipp Grubauer, Ben Scrivens, Jussi Rynnas, Drew MacIntyre, Michael Hutchinson, and Daren Machesney. As the Director of The Goalie Academy, Hersh prides himself and his organization on their ability and track record of producing high level goalies from the ground up and from non-traditional hockey areas like Maryland, Virginia, and Central Pennsylvania.  Coach Hersh has helped develop from very young ages Dan Sullivan (University of Maine), Jay Williams (Miami of Ohio University), Nick Ellis (Providence College), Bruce Racine (Colgate), Dan Rivellini (Babson College), Stephen Morrissey (Wiliams College) and Michael Lackey (USNTDP & Harvard Univ), as well as top college prospects Kris Carlson (USHL/OHL/NAHL Draft Pick), Andrew Herrmann (Hobart), Garrett Forrest (OHL Draft Pick), and David Altman (Pomfret).  Some of the best future prep, junior, college, and pro goalie prospects are originating in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania with The Goalie Academy. Among Coach Hersh’s other high level students have been Anthony Feyock (University of Rhode Island and CHL), Pudge Sillery (Union College and FHL), Michael Clemente (Brown University/Springfield AHL), and Freddie Bergman (University of Nebraska-Omaha, Pro Sweden).  He also works with the DC area’s best young and rising goalies, including the top AA and AAA goaltenders. Coach Hersh has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine) and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Penn State University.

Connor Cunningham, Head Skills Instructor

Connor Cunningham, Head Skills Instructor

Progressive Hockey Development welcomes to our team our new Head Skills Coach, Connor Cunningham.

Connor hails from Ashburn, Virginia and he grew up in the DC area playing Tier 1 AAA hockey with Reston Raiders, Virginia Statesmen, and Washington Little Capitals.  During his time in DC, Connor trained with NHL Washington Capital Paul Mulvey.  A standout in DC hockey, connor went on to play varsity prep school hockey at the prestigious Salisbury School in Connecticut.

After a stellar prep school career, Connor played junior hockey with the Valley Junior Warriors in North Andover, Massachusetts before attending St. Lawrence University in New York.

Connor's coaching experience includes instructing at Paul Mulvey's Hockey Camps and at Cold Rush hockey camps.  He also coached the Washington Little Capitals 2003 birth year team.

PHD is very happy to have Connor as a big part of our instructional team!

Brett Buccigross, Instructor

Brett Buccigross, Instructor

Brett Buccigross has joined the Progressive Hockey Development team as a skills instructor!

Hailing from South Windsor, Connecticut, "Bucci" grew up playing youth hockey in South Windsor from Mite through Midget before playing varisty at South Windsor High School.  He transferred to play varsity prep school hockey at Kingswood Oxford School, where he played for current Penn State University NCAA D-I Women's Head Coach, Josh Brandwene.  Brett was an Alternate Captain his senior year.

After KO, Bucci attended Miami-Ohio University, where he performed video coaching duties for the NCAA D-I Varsity team.  He broke down and analyzed Red Hawk game film, recorded statistics and broke down and analyzed NHL games for the other coaches to use to teach Miami-Ohio players about strategy and systems play.

Buccigross has a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Health.

PHD is extremely excited to have Bucci as a big part of our instructional team!

Anton Racklin, Instructor

Anton Racklin, Instructor

PHD welcomes our newest player skills coach, Anton Racklin, to the team!

From Goteborg, Sweden, Anton come to PHD after graduating from Manhattanville College (BS Finance & Math), where he was a standout player recording 55 points in 75 games.  He was the team captain from 2013-2015 and was NCAA D-III All-American, Academic All-American, and Manhattanville Male Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Prior to Manhattanville, Anton was recruited to NCAA D-I Bemidji State in Minnesota.  He also played in the USHL with Tri-City Storm and Fargo Force and in the NAHL with Fairbanks Ice Dogs.

In his native Sweden, Anton played for Frolunda HC in the Swedish Super Elite League and on the Swedish National U18 team with teammates such as Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators), Lars Eller (Montreal Canadiens) and John Klingberg (Dallas Stars).

Anton's coaching experience includes skills instructor at Eric Nate's Euro Hockey in Rye, NY and as the Club Head Coach for Mamoroneck Little Tigers Youth Hockey in Mamoroneck, NY.

PHD is thrilled to have Anton as a part of the skills instructional staff!