Brendan Sullivan, a native of Fall River, has joined the staff of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
A former all-state and state champion hockey player at Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury, Sullivan, 29, has been named the Penguins' goaltending development coach. For the last eight years, Sullivan, of Portsmouth, N.H., has worked closely with Mike Buckley, Pittsburgh's newly-appointed goaltending coach, with Buckley's GDS (Goaltender Development Services) training school. And for five years previous to that, he was coached by Buckley.
Buckley was the Penguins' goaltending development coach before being promoted to his new position.
"I chose Brendan because he has been with me for a long time and understands my development model," Buckley wrote in an email. "Sully works hard and understands the goaltenders and what we need to do as an organization to help the Penguins continue to succeed."
Sullivan's hockey resume is extensive, and includes four years as starting goaltender at Lake Forest College in Chicago where he earned first-team all-conference honors, a year playing with the Aurora Tigers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, and two years as a scout for the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League.
Sullivan said he will continue to live in Portsmouth, N.H. and continue to work for GDS. With the Penguins, he said, he will be working with goalies at the team's AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins in Pennsylvania, and also with prospects at its ECHL affliliate Wheeling Nailers in West Virginia.
With GDS, Sullivan said he has worked with professional, college, and junior hockey goaltenders. "With the whole gamut the last five years," he said.
Sullivan said while he was not shocked by getting the Pittsburgh job, neither had he assumed Buckley would select him to be the new development coach. "I had a little bit of an idea," Sullivan said. "It's so tough to get an in. He's the reason why I got it."
Sullivan said he will be getting a clearer picture of the specifics of his Penguins job when rookie camp opens early next month.