STORRS, Conn. -- University of Connecticut men's hockey head coach Mike Cavanaugh announced on Thursday that Mike Souza has been promoted to Associate Head Coach. Souza joined UConn prior to the 2013-14 season as an assistant as part of Coach Cavanaugh's first coaching staff.
"I am pleased to announce that Mike Souza has been promoted to Associate Head Coach at the University of Connecticut," commented Cavanaugh. "Mike's extensive playing experience and coaching skills continue to enhance our program. He was an integral part of our success competing in our first year in Hockey East and will continue to be a key part of the growth of this program."
"The University of Connecticut is a special place and I consider myself lucky to be a member of its community and to work with our student athletes," stated Souza. "The university and its administration have been so supportive of our ultimate goal of winning a championship. I hope to continue to be able to help facilitate making that goal a reality."
Souza will begin his third season on the UConn bench in 2015-16. Since his arrival in Storrs, he has assisted with all aspects of the program with his primary focus on the ice in coordinating the UConn power play while off the ice directing the team's recruiting efforts. The Huskies finished 7-11-4 in their first season in Hockey East, good for the No. 9 seed in their first trip to the league playoffs.
Souza began his coaching career with a two-year stint as an assistant coach at Brown University. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Souza was a four-year member of the Wildcats' hockey program from 1996-2000, captaining the team his senior year. During his career, he was a member of two NCAA Frozen Four teams and was named to the All-Regional team and All-Tournament team in 1999 after leading the Frozen Four in scoring.
He had an extensive playing career in both the United States and Europe. A third round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1997, Souza had playing stints in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Norfolk Admirals, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Portland Pirates and Hershey Bears. In 2005, Souza's playing career took him to Europe where he played in Switzerland and Italy. From 2008-11, he played on the Italian national team, playing in the IIHF World Championship.