Mike Souza begins his second season as a member of head coach Mike Cavanaugh's staff at the University of Connecticut and will continue to coordinate the UConn power play unit in 2014-15. He joined the Huskies after a two-year coaching stint at Brown University and an accomplished collegiate and professional playing career.
Souza spend the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons as an assistant at Brown on head coach Brendan Whittet's staff. While with the Bear's program, Souza was responsible for recruiting, game and practice preparation and video breakdown. He also had position responsibilities with the forwards and the operation of the bench during games.
A graduate of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Kinesiology, Souza was a four-year member of the Wildcats' hockey team from 1996-2000. During his career, he was a member of two NCAA Frozen Four teams and was named to the All-Regional Team in 1999 as well as the 1999 All-Tournament Team after leading the Frozen Four in scoring with six points. As a senior in 2000, Souza captained the Wildcats and was a Hockey East Second Team All-Star that same year, while also earning New England All-Star honors.
Souza was a third round pick (67th overall) of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1997 NHL Draft and had an extensive professional career both in the United States and Europe. He played in the AHL with the Norfolk Admirals (2000-2003), the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (2002-2003; 2003-04), Portland Pirates (2003-04) and Hershey Bears (2004-05). While with the Sound Tigers, Souza served in the role of player representative for the Professional Hockey Players' Association.
In 2005, Souza took his career to Europe, competing for the Cologne Sharks of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, EHC Basel of the Swiss National League A, and EHC Olton of the Swiss National League B. In 2006, he moved to Italy to play in the Serie A, where he spent the next five years, finishing with 194 points (90g, 104a) in 183 games.
During his five seasons playing in Italy, he helped lead the 2005-06 Cortina SG to the team's first Championship dating back to 1975. From 2008-2011, he was also on the Italian national team, participating in the IIHF World Championship all three years and winning the Division I gold medal in both 2009 and 2011. In 2010, Souza and Team Italy participated in the Elite Division at the World Championships, as Souza led Team Italy in scoring with 5 points (1g, 4a).
A native of Wakefield, MA, Souza was inducted into the Wakefield High School Hall of Fame in 2009. He and his wife, Kelly, have two daughters, Ella and Ava.
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