Bridgton Academy is pleased to announce the hiring of Mike Warde as the school’s new Director of Hockey and Head Junior Hockey Coach. Warde joins Bridgton Academy from West Point in New York, where he worked as an Assistant Hockey Coach for the Black Knights.
“I am truly honored to be named the next Director of Hockey and Head Junior Hockey Coach at Bridgton Academy. The spirit and enthusiasm that has been shown by Headmaster Grady Vigneau and his staff to me and my family has been phenomenal. Our mission will be to create a program and environment that ensures success as a person, student and athlete. We want players to be more successful in college and life beyond because of the principles, values and skills they were able to develop at Bridgton Academy,” said Mike Warde.
The Director of Hockey and Head Junior Hockey Coach position became available when Jonathan Lounsbury ’01, current Director, took over the reins of the esteemed Walpole Express program in Massachusetts. Lounsbury said of the announcement, “It’s amazing to take a step back and see how this program has grown from when I played for the team to where it is today. Selfishly, I would say our staff developed a top-tier program. The reality is, our past and present players made this program what it is today. Our guys pride themselves in character, commitment and sacrifice. These three words have shaped the program to where it is today. I am honored and excited that a coach like Mike Warde is coming in to take over. I have no doubt he will continue to take this program to the top and that our players will develop to their fullest under his guidance.”
Warde is already busy talking with players committed to Bridgton Academy for the Class of 2014, and is excited to take over a program that has experienced such growth. “Jon Lounsbury has left some big shoes to fill as evidenced by his great four-year run. I am confident my 9 years of being a Division 1 assistant coach at very challenging institutions – Iona College, University of Alabama in Huntsville and The United States Military Academy at West Point has prepared me well for the opportunity to coach and recruit at Bridgton Academy,” articulated Warde.
Headmaster Grady Vigneau said of the transition, “Four years ago, Jonathan Lounsbury '01 arrived on campus with a vision and promptly went to work building his dream. Today, Mike Warde, armed with an impressive toolbox of coaching skills, experience, and a broad, trusting network, is the perfect man to steward the Lounsbury legacy while driving BA Hockey to the next level. Bridgton Academy has hit a homerun in securing his passion for the game of hockey and his commitment to helping young men to be better every day. Furthermore, Coach Warde is a professional in every sense of the word. As an Academy, we could not be happier.”
Warde spent several years with Army where he coached under Head Coach Brian Riley. “I'm so excited that Bridgton Academy has given Mike Warde the opportunity to take its Hockey Program to the next level. Mike is a great coach and he will work nonstop to get the type of young man that will represent Bridgton Academy with class and pride both in the classroom as well as on the ice. More important than being a great coach, Mike is a great man and will be a great role model not only to the hockey players, but to all of the students at BA. We are going to miss Mike and his family, but we are so happy for him and we wish him much success with this great opportunity. Mike, Angela, and Brayden are going to be a great addition to the Bridgton Academy Family,” said Brian Riley, Head Hockey Coach, West Point.
A native of Rockport, Mass., Warde is a 1993 graduate of Iona College where he played forward and served as a co-captain his senior year when he received the "Pride, Hustle and Desire" award. He began his coaching career at Iona Prep in New Rochelle, N.Y., before coaching the Alaska All-Stars Midget Program and at Robert Service High School in Anchorage, Alaska. His collegiate career got underway at his alma mater before accepting the position at the United States Military Academy in 1999. Warde is also involved with USA Hockey Select 15, 16 and 17 Development camps.
“Lastly, I would like to thank JB Spisso (P’12), Brian Riley and Grady Vigneau for their endorsements as the new Director of Hockey and Head Junior Hockey Coach at Bridgton Academy,” Warde said.
Coach Warde will be moving to the Bridgton Academy campus with his wife Angela and son Brayden.