Coach Bios 2023-2024 (Central York Girls Hockey Association)

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U22AA (Junior)
Head Coach: Steve Dempsey
[email protected]
Steve Dempsey will be going into his fifth season with the U22 AA team. For the past four years he has focused his energy on both recruiting and building an elite homegrown high performance program that offers players the opportunity to train and practice in a unique pre-university setting. Focusing on family core values like accountability, selflessness, attitude, and respect he is determined to build a program that resonates with like minded character focused players.

Previous to taking on this position, he was an assistant coach for 12 years with the York University Lions women's hockey team beginning in 2009 working with Dan Church, the former Canadian Olympic Coach.

Steve was responsible for taking the lead role with the defense and the penalty kill units. Under Steve's guidance he has helped several defenders receive Ontario and Canadian First and Second Team All-star positions. The penalty kill unit was ranked as one of the top 5 penalty kill units in the country twice during his time at York.

In addition to his work with the Lions, Steve has been a Head Coach with the Ontario Women's Hockey Association High Performance U16 and U18 programs. In 2014 and 2019 his team went undefeated during the summer development camp.

Internationally, he has also worked with the New Zealand National Women's team program as a mentor coach. In 2012 he helped New Zealand to their best IIHF World ranking and their best finish at the IIHF World Championships.

Steve Dempsey is a fully certified NCCP HP1 and HP2 level coach and has been certified in Hockey Canada's High Performance Program.

He has been coaching for over 35 years in competitive, house league, and high school settings in hockey, soccer, and softball.

Head Coach:Steve Dempsey
[email protected]
Head Coach: Mark Di Palma
[email protected]
Mark joins the Central York Panthers as the 2023/2024 head coach for our U15AA PHP team.
His coaching philosophy is centered around 3 key points:

Development:continued development of fundamental hockey skills, skating, passing, shooting, puck control, while adding team tactics to compete at a high level.

Sportsmanship:Equally important aspect of the game and in life. It is very important we teach our players to respect their teammates, coaches, opponents and officials with the understanding that they are representing our community on and off the ice.

Leading by Example:As a coach you are a role model to these young players. They watch your every move. It is very important to represent the organization and team with class.

Mark believes in open communication with the players and their parents to ensure expectations of each player is understood. Positive up tempo competitive practices will translate on the ice in games. Strong family culture will lead to success on and off the ice and in life.
Mark has been involved in hockey for the past 30 years. Playing AAA minor hockey, pro ice and inline hockey in Italy and coaching locally from tyke to U16.
He is also the owner and head instructor of The Hockey Academy Aurora.
Head Coach: John Stolys
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John is a High Performance 1 (HP1) certified coach with over 20 years of coaching experience.

With the CYGHA he has coaching experience with AA and A teams from Peewee through Intermediate. He has coached in the Richmond Hill Coyotes AAA organization from Novice through Peewee and served as an assistant coach for the Richmond Hill Stars through all age groups.

John’s focus on player development with a drive for competitiveness has gained the positive support of players and parents throughout all his teams. Players are supported to gain confidence and also challenged to push themselves to make unexpected improvements.

John is also a Level 4 Referee with over 25 years of hockey officiating experience. John’s other coaching experience includes being a Level 3 (Senior) coach within the Canadian Soccer Association and the National Coaches Certification Program.