HEAD COACHES - 2023 SEASON
*All Information is subject to change.
Goalie Director - Mike Lively
Player Development - Tom Galvin
Player Development - Aleksey Rezvoi
COACHING STAFF BIOS
Dan Granato VP of Hockey - Peewee Major CSDHL Asst Coach
A native of Naperville, Dan grew up playing hockey for the Sabres and the Huskies. He was an IL All-State High School hockey player at Naperville Central and won back-to-back Midget State titles and a national championship runner-up at the 1991 National Midget Tournament. After graduating, Dan moved on and played 2 seasons of Junior A hockey for the Rochester Mustangs of the USHL. Following his Junior A stint, Dan was a four-year letter winner at Division III University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. While at Eau Claire, Dan was twice named to the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association All-Academic team and was awarded the prestigious UWEC Super Six award for excellence on the ice and in the classroom. For the past 10 years Dan has been the head coach and hockey director for Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville. In his 10 years behind the bench at NVHC, he has led the Wildcats to over 300 wins. This includes 2 IL West regular season titles & 2 IL West Cup Championships. Dan was twice named the IL West Coach of the Year and won the AHAI High School Boys Coach of the Year award in 2015. He has also had 17 players named to the IL All State team. Dan has been with the Sabres for 6 years.
Brandon Lewandowski Hockey Director - Peewee Major CSDHL Head Coach - Mite CUHL D1 Head Coach
Brandon Lewandowski grew up in the Naperville area playing for various AA and AAA clubs throughout the state, including a year with Naperville Central High School earning a spot on the Illinois Showcase Team, Metro West All-Star team, and recognition as an All-State MVP. He has been involved in coaching for over 15 years in both locally and nationally run programs. He has been instrumental in helping grow multiple Tier 2 organizations, serving in various roles such as Level Director, Program Director, and Director of Player Development. He has been a Head Coach for over 15 years having produced very successful results both in moving players on to the next level and winning many prestigious titles. He is now serving his fourth year as Director of Hockey for the Sabre Hockey Association.
Chris Chelios Midget Director - Midget Major U18 Head Coach - Midget Minor U16 Head Coach
Coach Chelios has a long and illustrious career as a hockey player and coach. As a player, he played every level, house through AAA. After high school graduation, he chose the path that led him through the ranks of Junior Hockey, then as a NCAA D1 College player and Captain at the University of Wisconsin - Superior. Chris then found himself playing in the semi-professional leagues across Europe and the United States until he turned to coaching. Beginning at the Sabre mite program he worked his way up to where you find him today as the Midget Hockey Director and coach for the U16 and U18 CSDHL teams. During his professional tenure he has also coached high school hockey at Naperville Central and at the collegiate level for the Robert Morris Women's ACHA Hockey team.
Phil Lewandowski Peewee Director - Peewee Minor CSDHL Head Coach - Squirt Minor CSDHL Head Coach
A native to the Chicagoland area, he played AAA hockey with Team Illinois. Phil went on to play junior hockey for the Compuware Ambassadors (NAHL) and Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL), where he won a National Title with Compuware. He played 4 years of Division I college hockey at Ferris State University (CCHA) and played various levels of professional hockey with the Gwinnett Gladiators, Cincinnati Cyclones, Trenton Devils and Peoria Rivermen. Phil has been coaching with the Sabres for 8 years and was the recipient of the 2020 Sabres Coach of the Year.
Jordan Diamond Girls Hockey Director - Girls 10U Head Coach - Mite CUHL D3 Head Coach
Jordan grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicagoland, playing youth travel hockey with Northbrook as a goalie. Jordan's coaching career began with the Skokie Flyers, both Head Coaching and running Goalie Clinics. In his over 20 years of coaching experience, Jordan has worked with every level of youth hockey, from Bronze to Central States, Mites to High School.
Kristian Casella Bantam Director - Bantam Major CSDHL Head Coach
Kristian grew up in the Chicagoland area playing most of his youth hockey with the Sabres and Bruins. He went on to play a few years of Junior Hockey with the Dells Ducks. After his playing days, Kristian entered the trades and started his own business, and has been coaching hockey for the past 7 years at the Peewee, Bantam, and Midget levels with various clubs and programs. He is also currently a Chicagoland scout for the Chicago Cougars Junior Program in the USPHL.
CJ Westlake Squirt Director - Squirt Major CSDHL Head Coach
CJ Westlake has played over 200 games in Tier-3 juniors and over 160 Collegiate games. In his 22 years of hockey experience, he has held multiple roles as an Assistant Captain and Captain. He was selected for the USA Mid-American Development Camp every year from 2002-2006. He played 4 years of collegiate hockey with Utah State University where his team qualified for Nationals all 4 years. He played for multiple AAA organizations across the country, such as the Youngstown Phantoms, Jr. Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Sault St. Marie Indians. Throughout his junior hockey and midget major career, he volunteered to coach for multiple youth hockey organizations. In his first year of coaching full-time at Utah State University, he won a regional championship and as the youngest head coach in men’s ACHA D2 history, he took his team to a National Tournament.
Kyle Byrnes Mite Director - Squirt CSDHL Asst Coach - Mite CUHL Asst Coach
Kyle grew up in Southeastern Michigan and started ice hockey before his 6th birthday. He has many hockey experiences to draw from stemming from his local house program, playing tier II, on traveling tournament teams, tier I and ACHA College Hockey. Kyle currently has 3 Sabres in the program and is coaching our first Squirt Prospects team this fall/winter season.
Mike Lively Goalie Director - U18 Asst Coach
Mike grew up playing hockey in the Chicagoland area for various AA and AAA programs. He pursued his playing career all the way up through college where he played for Ohio University in the ACHA. His team had an ACHA Nationals appearance and Mike was a 3x academic All-American as well as being named to the TSCHL All Conference Team. After his time in the net, Mike took up coaching immediately and began working for As Good as Gould. He has been coaching with the Sabres since 2018 as an assistant coach and the full-time goalie coach for our Midget program. Mike will be entering his first year as the Sabre Goalie Director for the 2022-2023 season.
Sheldon Gorski Bantam NIHL Head Coach
Sheldon hails from Grenfell, Saskatchewan in Canada, where he grew up playing youth hockey. Sheldon played 4 years of college hockey in the CCHA with the University of Illinois, as well as 10 years of professional hockey in the IHL, ECHL, CHL, and a season with the Rockford Ice Hogs in the UHL. Sheldon has been coaching with the Sabre Hockey Association for over 10 years and was the recipient of the 2021-2022 Coach of the Year.
Matt Van Heest Midget Minor 16U CSDHL Asst Coach
Matt is a native of Michigan, where he spent his youth hockey days at both the Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels. A multi-year High School State Champion at nationally ranked Catholic Central High School, he was also a recipient of individual all-state honors. Matt played 4 years of NCAA D3 college hockey at Lake Forest College. He has been with the Sabres for over 6 years and currently coaches in the Midget program.
Vito Bruno 18U Asst Coach
Vito played youth hockey for the Sabres, where he was selected for the AHAI Player Development Camp from years 2004-2009. He was the Captain of his Downers Grove South high school team where he was selected for the High School Illinois Showcase team and a Metro West All-Star. After completing his youth career, Vito played a year of Junior Hockey for the Chicago Bulldogs and then went on to play 3 years at Robert Morris College where he received the following honors: Rookie of the Year, MVP and Leading Scorer during Regional and National runs. Vito has been coaching with the Sabres for over 6 years where he has helped lead teams to CSDHL & State Championships, and a National Appearance.
Aly Pomillo Girls 14U NIHL Head Coach - Girls 12U NIHL Head Coach
No stranger to the rink, Aly grew up in the Chicagoland area where she played both Tier 1 and Tier 2 hockey, 6 years of which were with the Sabres. During that time she was a part of 3 State Championship teams, earning 3 National Appearances as well. She went on to play NCAA D3 hockey at Aurora University. She is a teacher on and off the ice graduating with a BA in Elementary Education. She also works at All Seasons assisting in the Learn to Skate program. Aly joined the Sabres coaching staff in 2021, and is currently head coach of the girls 14U team.
Anthony Luka Bantam CSDHL Prospects Head Coach
Anthony grew up in the Chicagoland area playing for the Flames, Chargers and Team Illinois, where made 4 National appearances, placing 3rd twice. Anthony played college hockey from 2012-2016 with Illinois State University. After college he began coaching immediately where he has been coaching teams at both the Tier 1 and Tier 2 level with Team Illinois, Bruins and Bulldogs. Anthony came to the Sabres last season to support our 2007 team helping them win an NAPHL championship. This will be his 2nd year with the Sabres.
Christian Esposito Bantam Player Advisor, Midget Minor 15U CSDHL Head Coach
Coach Esposito is native to the Chicagoland area where he grew up playing various levels of travel hockey. Coach Esposito went on to play college hockey at St Mary’s University of Minnesota. In his time at St Mary’s Coach Esposito served as Captain of his team. He is also credited for starting the ACHA hockey program at St Mary’s and serving as the club’s president while being a full-time student athlete. He was one of four founding members of the NCHL (Northern Collegiate Hockey League) which sits as one of the nation’s premiere ACHA D2 college hockey conferences today. After college Coach Esposito jumped right into coaching gaining experience at the Mite, Squirt, Peewee, and Bantam levels. He spent 5 years in a variety of roles, including Director of Hockey Operations with Northern Illinois University and has additionally spent time as the Hockey Director and Head Varsity Coach at Marmion High School. Coach Esposito joins the Sabres family as our U15 Head Coach and will help serve in a Bantam Player Advisor role. He is extremely excited and eager to bring his experience and contribution to our club.
Lou Johanns Squirt CSDHL Prospects Head Coach
Lou is a native of Naperville, Illinois. He spent his youth hockey days within the Sabre organization as a Squirt to Bantam, playing in the CSDHL. He was a 3 year varsity Hockey and Baseball player at Naperville Central, graduating in 2006. After winning a baseball state championship with the Redhawks in 2006, he went on to play D1 College Baseball for the Salukis at Southern Illinois. Lou has been with the Sabres for 3 years and currently coaches in the Mite program.
Brian Mckenna Girls 16U/19U NIHL Head Coach
Brian is a veteran behind the bench, having been coaching for over 10 years, many of them spent here with the Sabres, both head coaching and assisting benches on both the Boys and Girls side of Sabre Hockey. Brian is one of the Sabres best reviewed coaches year after year due to his focus on team culture and his knowledge for the game.
Emmett Haughian Girls 16U/19U NIHL Coach
Emmet has been coaching hockey for 14 years, having head coached and served on benches at every level from In-House to Tier 1 Hockey. He also served time as President of the Huskies Hockey Club.
Frank Silva Peewee CSDHL Prospects Head Coach
Brandon Boies Bantam NIHL Head Coach
Peyton Rose Norman Girls Player Development Staff - Girls Hockey Asst Coach
Peyton grew up playing hockey in Chicagoland, starting at the Sabres leading her to the Chicago Mission. Her teams won seven state titles with six national championship appearances, and three national titles. She was a 3x Central Districts camp invitee, as well as a National Camp Invitee. She attended the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, in her freshman year playing 21 games for the Blugolds and appearing in the NCAA championship series. Currently she is a camp instructor for Crazy Eights all girl camps and had the honor of being a central district coach for the father/daughter hockey camp in Minnesota. She is eager to share her love and passion for the game of hockey as well as help with Girls Skill Development.
Isabelle Piotrowski Girls Player Development Staff - Girls Hockey Asst Coach
Isabelle grew up playing hockey with various AA and AAA teams in Chicagoland, playing for the Sabres during her U10 years, ultimately bringing her to the Chicago Fury. She played college hockey at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI, earning the honor of team captain. Attending grad school brought her to New York where she coached for the Central Park Hawks, helping with various ages of Girls Hockey as well as U8 Coed. She has been a Learn to Skate Instructor for both kids and adults and runs her own skill development lessons. She is very excited to join the Sabre Family.