#NCDCAwards: Utica Jr. Comets’ Louis Educate Named New England Division 2023-24 Coach Of The Year

By Joshua Boyd / NCDCHockey.com 


The National Collegiate Development Conference is proud to announce that Utica Jr. Comets Head Coach Louis Educate has been named the New England Division 2023-24 Coach Of The Year. 

Educate, 34 and originally from Libertyville, Ill., first began his association with hockey in Utica when he joined the Utica University Pioneers in 2012-13, and he’d go on to play three seasons there (after a transfer from Nichols College).

After a three-year pro career that included stops in the Southern Professional Hockey League and in Germany, Educate stepped behind the bench as an assistant coach with his alma mater, Utica University, 2017-18. After one year with the former Syracuse Jr. Stars’ USPHL Premier team, he moved with that organization as it became today’s Utica Jr. Comets in 2019-20. 

Educate has been a Jr. Comets’ NCDC coach since 2019-20, becoming Head Coach in 2021-22. He has also coached the Premier Jr. Comets in four of his five seasons in the organization. 

This past season, he improved his team’s record from 18-28-3-1 in 2022-23 to 30-17-4-1 this season, bringing the Jr. Comets back to the postseason for the first time since 2020-21. 

“It’s a fantastic honor to be voted Coach Of The Year by my peers. All of the coaches in our league work hard to put a good product on the ice and to help the brand of our league, so for the other coaches to acknowledge that they noticed some of the things you and your program have done is pretty special,” said Educate. 

He was certainly quick to point out that he sees the Coach of the Year Award as recognition for everyone on the Jr. Comets staff. 

“The first thing that came to mind when being notified of this award was that this is a staff award. I have to thank our Owner Rob Esche and our staff of Andrew Starczewski and Jason Shaya, who have been absolutely fantastic this season,” said Educate. “We all wear a lot of hats and are constantly doing what needs to be done for our players. Our guys know they don’t have to worry about anything and can focus on everything that they need to do on and off the ice to have a successful season. Our staff understands it’s about the player and his development and that’s what we focus on.”

And, of course, the players’ efforts also are reflected in a Coach Of The Year award, he added. 

“On top of that it’s impossible to win a Coach Of The Year award without complete buy-in from your players,” Educate said. “Our guys certainly did that this season, which made our jobs as coaches a bit easier and much more fun. It all comes full circle. When you have a great staff, and a willingness of the players to work and buy into what the staff is coaching and preaching, good things are going to happen. We certainly had a great season and I have to thank our players for that. They are the ones who are making our program what it is.”

The NCDC joins the Utica Jr. Comets in congratulating Head Coach Louis Educate for being named the New England Division 2023-24 Coach Of The Year. 


About The NCDC

The National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC) was founded in 2017 as the Tuition-Free Tier II conference of the United States Premier Hockey League, itself founded in 2012. The NCDC consists of 18 teams in three divisions, two on the Eastern Seaboard and one in the Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Utah and Idaho.

The NCDC has sent more than 250 alumni to play NCAA Division I hockey, and more than 900 overall into NCAA college hockey. There were also more than 250 alumni in pro hockey around the world during the 2023-24 season. Former NCDC player Drew O’Connor has become a regular with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, Collin Graf recently signed and has played with the San Jose Sharks, and there have been seven players selected in the NHL Entry Draft from the NCDC.