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UConn men’s hockey officially hires Mike Pereira as new assistant

The Huskies bring on the younger brother of Joe Pereira, who left the staff for BU last week.

HOCKEY - Reading forward Mike Pereira (14) offers congratulations on Justin Crandall’s goal. HOCKEY - The Reading Royals were defeated by the South Carolina Stingrays 5-4 at the Santander Arena. HOCKEY Royals vs Stingrays Photo by Harold Photo By Harold Hoch/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

UConn men’s hockey will hire Mike Pereira as its new assistant coach, the team announced on Friday. Pereira is the younger brother of former associate head coach Joe Pereira, who left for the same position at Boston University last week. He was offered, and accepted, the job on Wednesday, May 25.

“Mike is a tremendous young coach who will bring his knowledge and enthusiasm for the game to the rink every day to help our team continue to get better,” head coach Mike Cavanaugh said in a release. “He has done a fantastic job in his time at Avon Old Farms and was an accomplished player in Hockey East and knows this league well. And as he follows his brother Joe (Pereira) on our staff, we are excited we can keep it in the family.”

Pereira has spent the last five years as an assistant coach at Avon Old Farms, one of the top prep schools for hockey in New England. UConn will be his first collegiate job.

Before coaching, Pereira had an impressive four-year career at UMass from 2010-14, where he racked up 53 goals and 54 assists in 135 games. After graduating, he played professionally for four seasons in the AHL and ECHL before retiring in 2017.

While Pereira is inexperienced at the college level, head coach Mike Cavanaugh prefers young assistant coaches who are hungry and can be molded.

When Cavanaugh arrived at UConn, he hired the elder Pereira and Mike Souza, who eventually became the head coach at New Hampshire. Cavanaugh then gave Brendan Buckley his first job as an assistant and when he departed for Boston College, the coach promoted graduate assistant Tyler Helton to fill the opening on the staff. Including the younger Pereira, the average age of Cavanaugh’s assistant coaching hires is 31.0 years old.

Pereira isn’t the only new addition to the Huskies’ staff this offseason. Joe Ferriss has returned to the program as the new Director of Hockey Operations, replacing Paul Devlin. Ferriss played at UConn from 2012-16, totaling 14 goals and 18 assists in 120 games.

“As a program, we are excited to welcome Joe back to UConn,” Cavanaugh said. “As a former coach on our staff, and player for us as well, Joe has great knowledge of our program and how we operate on and off the ice. He will be a tremendous asset for us and we are thrilled he will be returning to Storrs.”

He spent a year as an assistant with the Boston Jr. Bandits of the NCDC before returning to Storrs as a graduate assistant with the team from 2018-2021. Last season, he coached at Division III Wesleyan in Middletown, Connecticut.

The Huskies’ coaching staff is now complete with Pereira joining Helton — who will return for his fifth season on the bench — as assistants to Cavanaugh.