RAHA Coach Biographies
Andy Marchison (PeeWee A)
A lifetime Ridgefield resident, Andy began his hockey career at the age of five, playing Mites to Midgets. He was a two-time state champion, winning as both a PeeWee and a Bantam. Andy graduated from Ridgefield High School in 2000. After playing three years of varsity hockey for Ridgefield, he left his senior year to play junior hockey, playing for the Connecticut Jr. Whalers for three seasons. Andy joined the RAHA family for the 2010-11 season with great success. Coaching the Squirt B team, Andy led his team to the Norris Division State Championship. Over the next two season coaching Squirts, his teams have placed second at the CanAm Challenge Cup and won three other local tournaments. Andy currently lives in Ridgefield. He is married and works for the town.
Mike “Buzzy” Schneider (Bantam A)
Buzzy graduated from Ridgefield High School in 2001, where he played on the varsity ice hockey team for four years. He attended Norwich University in Vermont his freshman year and also attended Johnson and has coached for RAHA for five seasons.
Gil Alicea (Squirt A, Mites)
Gil is a lifelong Ridgefield resident who began his hockey career at the age of five. He graduated from Ridgefield High School in 2008 where he played four years of varsity hockey and two years of varsity baseball, earning All-FCIAC honors in baseball. In his junior year, his team won the Fairfield County Interscholastic Conference tournament, Ridgefield’s first title in more than 20 years. Gil attended Indiana University, graduating in May 2012 with a BA in public financial management. At Indiana he played men’s league hockey and won two school/town championships. Gil currently works in Shelton for the Department of Defense with the Defense Contract Management Agency. Gil has coached youth baseball in Ridgefield for seven years and this is his fourth season as a RAHA coach.
Nate Allen (PeeWee A1)
Nate grew up in Yarmouth, Maine, and played youth hockey in the Casco Bay Youth Hockey Association. He attended Yarmouth High School where he played varsity hockey for four years. As a senior Nate was the assistant captain and led his team in points. He was also chosen for the Western Maine Senior All-Star Team. After high school Nate attended Bryant University, where he got a BA in business administration with a concentration in marketing. Nate now lives and works in Darien, Connecticut, where he is a marketing associate at Ring's End, Inc. Nate currently plays men’s league hockey in Stamford and is excited to pass on his knowledge of the game.
Steve Murtha (Bantam A1)
Steve is currently in his third year coaching with RAHA. He played youth hockey in New Milford and also with the Southern Stars. Steve attended Immaculate High School in Danbury, where he was a two-time All-State player and team captain for two years. Steve played junior hockey in the AJHL for the Hartford Jr. Wolfpack. He was captain in the 2007 season.
Jeff Priano (Squirt B)
Jeff has been a RAHA coach for three years, first as an assistant on Bantam A, which won a State Championship, and then head coach of Squirt B for the past two seasons. He grew up and played youth hockey in Ridgefield. Jeff still plays men’s league and has a deep passion for hockey and teaching kids. He has also coached baseball at the 10-year-old level.
Hunter Alicea (Squirt A, Mites)
Hunter has lived in Ridgefield his entire life and graduated in May 2015 from Indiana University with a degree in public financial management and a business foundations certificate. He began playing youth hockey at age 5 with Ridgefield before moving to Mid-Fairfield and Brewster. He graduated from Ridgefield High School in 2011 where he played four years of varsity hockey and two years of varsity baseball, being named captain of both teams his senior year. He was also named to a Connecticut senior all-star team for baseball and in college played men’s league hockey and won two school titles. Hunter’s proudest hockey moment came when he played with RAHA and had the opportunity to play at Madison Square Garden during a New York Rangers intermission. He has three years of coaching experience with Ridgefield youth baseball and has been a coach with RAHA for two seasons.
John Markwell (Squirt A1, Mites)
John began his youth hockey career playing for the Pittsburgh Amateur Penguins and the Pittsburgh Predators followed by four years at St. Clair High School. John then played for four years at the University of Dayton, where he was a two-year assistant captain and two-time Offensive Player of the Year. He then spent a season as a Graduate Assistant Coach for the University of Dayton and another coaching high school hockey in Pittsburgh. John is a USA Hockey Level 3 Certified Coach and currently resides in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Robert Sutherland (PeeWee B and Goalies)
Robert played hockey for Immaculate High School in Danbury and Perkiomen Valley High School in Pennsylvania, earning a Division 2 State Championship in 2007 with Immaculate. He then went on to Juniors where he played for the Valley Forge Minutemen, the South Muskoka Shield of the GMHL, and the Bradford Rattlers of the GMHL. While with South Muskoka, Robert was a three-year All Star and awarded the Goaltender of the Year in 2011. Robert is a Level 3 USA Hockey certified coach and has spent the past three seasons with the Connecticut Barons coaching at the Squirt and Bantam levels before joining RAHA for the 2016-17 season.
Michele Gintoli (Bantam B)
Michele played Division 1 prep hockey at Kent School before graduating in 2006. She went on to Sacred Heart University, where she decided to forego college hockey and begin her coaching career at 19 years old. In addition to spending the last three years as head coach at Western CT Youth Hockey, Michele is heavily involved with a hard of hearing hockey organization called AHIHA, where she coaches a hard of hearing team at the USA Disabled Hockey Festival every year. She will also represent Team USA as a player/coach at the World Deaf Hockey championships in Buffalo, NY, in the spring. Michele is a USA Hockey Level 4 certified coach and resides in Danbury.
Peter Bafundo (Bantam A1)
Peter grew up in New Fairfield, Conn. He started his youth hockey career in the Ridgefield Youth Hockey Association, where he played all the way through Bantams. Peter then moved on to Midget Hockey in East Haven and New Milford. He was a four-year starter for Siena College, which was a Division 1 club team. The team went to the ACHA nationals three straight years and won the title Peter’s junior year. He was a USA Hockey Level 3 certified ref for seven years and has decided to make the jump into coaching.
Brett Farson (Midget Major)
Since 2005 Coach Farson has worked locally with youth hockey players in Fairfield County as well as Westchester. Along the way he coached Mid-Fairfield U16 for two seasons and he recently guided Rye Country Day School to the 2017 FAA title. Brett has also attended 17U USA Hockey Player Development Camps and served as Coach in Chief for the Connecticut Hockey Conference. He will oversee the Ridgefield High School Midget program, concentrating on practices and skill sessions. A game coach will be announced prior to the start of the season.