Our Coaches

Tim Nelson
Tim Nelson started skating at the age of eight in Southern California. He played youth hockey at his local club (Burbank) until he aged out at 18 playing tier hockey. At the age of 16 he started assisting in the hockey skating school program at Pasadena. In 2000 he took over the skating school classes and started giving power skating lessons. He has been coaching nonstop ever since. He has been head coach at the Mite, Squirt and PeeWee levels. Tim has his level 4 USA Hockey certification.  His coaching philosophy for the past 17 years is to help the players fall in love with the game while they learn the satisfaction that comes from hard work.

Jeff Dardis
Jeff began playing hockey in Ohio when he was 8 years old and after discovering his passion for the sport, spent his youth playing AAA Travel hockey. Shortly thereafter Jeff joined the Mentor Junior Cardinals for two seasons of playing in an even more competitive travel league before moving on to play at his local high school. During college he took a 4 year hiatus from hockey, although, after graduating realized that he couldn't stay away so he earned his Level 3 coaching certification and began coaching youth hockey in Charleston, SC. Moving to California in 2011 provided the opportunity to find a new hockey program to continue coaching with, leading Jeff to the San Francisco Sabercats.

Patrick Fortier
Patrick learned to play ice hockey in Southern California at the Ontario Ice Skating Center, starting at age 13. He played 1 year of Bantams and 3 years of Midgets for the Ontario Jets. Patrick moved to upstate New York and played two years of Junior College Hockey at Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh and at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica. He then transferred to the University of Kentucky and played 3 years of Club Hockey for the Wildcats. While at the University of Kentucky, his team made it to the ACHA Division II National Finals twice; and played in the Nationals Championship Game in 1992. Patrick was alternate Captain of the Team in 1993/94. After graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1994, he has continued to enjoy playing hockey and has played in men’s leagues in Detroit, Michigan, Oakland and San Francisco, CA. Patrick is a certified level 2 USA Hockey Coach and enjoys sharing his passion for the game of hockey by coaching kids.

Peter Korcsinszky
Coach Peter Korcsinszky's love for ice hockey originates from his father, who is a true fanatic of the sport. Growing up watching his father, who has been an active member of the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation and the President of the local hockey club over the past 20 years, left no chance for him to avoid his fate: becoming a hockey player.

He got his first pair of skates at the age of 5 and has never abandoned them. He played youth travel hockey up to his teenage years, when he was also selected for the Under-16 National Team of Hungary. Shortly after, due to injuries, he decided to turn the focus on his education, ultimately earning a law degree. Throughout he stayed close to the sport, as he started coaching his hometown’s Mite, Squirt and PeeWee teams and was running the International Ice Hockey Federation's “Learn to Play” program.

In 2004, after moving to San Francisco, he connected with local hockey programs and has served as a coach and power skating instructor for the Sabercats In-House, Mite, Squirt, and PeeWee programs at YBISC. He also oversees the coaching staff within the Sabercats organization as the Directory of Coaches.

It’s been well over a decade since he started teaching youngsters the fundamentals of ice hockey, while incorporating solid work ethics and uncompromising team spirit, and since has never forgotten the ultimate reason that made him fell in love with the sport: HOCKEY is FUN!

Michelle Chee
Michelle started coaching peewee hockey for San Francisco Sabercats during 2003-2004 season, when she was still a teenager and playing as member for the midget team. After two years, she moved to the east coast to attend college and volunteered as a "Learn to Skate" coach when time permitted. The "Learn to Skate" program was focused on local Hartford-area students and came during their school PE periods to learn how to skate.

Following graduation, she moved abroad to Asia. After some time away from the ice rink, she surprisingly found a small but passionate hockey community in Hong Kong. She began coaching and organizing the youth hockey league, which served about 400 players ages 4-18. She was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to coach the select teams, which played tournaments in Taiwan, Japan, and other locations in China.

She stepped away from coaching for a couple of years after moving back to the United States but now she's back as an assistant coach for the squirt and bantam teams here in San Francisco.

Ciaran Cleary
Ciaran Cleary is a Bay Area native, who has played for many local teams and organizations growing up such as the Santa Rosa Flyers, The Vacaville Jets, the San Jose Jr. Sharks, and he finished his youth hockey career playing for Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose.

After high school, Ciaran played 4 years of ACHA D2 hockey for Boston College. Upon graduation, he moved to San Francisco and has been coaching with The Sabercats organization for the last 3 years. Starting with the 8U squad in 2017/2018, he moved to coach the 10U B team in the 2018/2019 season, and was most recently the head coach of the 14U A team for the 2019/2020 season.

Casey O'Sullivan
Coach Casey grew up playing street, ice and pond hockey with friends outside of the Twin Cities area. He first developed a passion for coaching while assisting his younger brothers Peewee and Bantam teams as a High School player. Coach Casey’s hockey highlight was making 15u/16u Select Nationals. After attempting to be a “practice coach” for a couple weeks, Casey’s worked with our 14u/16u teams full time for the past few seasons.

George Caliendo
Coach George has been coaching youth hockey for over 20 years. In New York City, he was head coach of the St. Bernard’s School ice hockey team from 1988 through 1999. During that time, he was also a coach, teacher, tutor and mentor for the Ice Hockey In Harlem community hockey program. While living in Los Angeles, he coached in-house hockey at the LA Kings practice center. He has been a coach with the SF Sabercat’s program since 2004, and has coached every age group from squirts through midgets.

Coach George played for the Columbia University hockey team in college and the Columbia Business School hockey team while in graduate school.

David Duble
Coach David Duble grew up in North Haven, Connecticut tagging along to rinks with two older brothers and a dedicated hockey coach father at a very young age. He began playing youth hockey at age 7 and traveled throughout the New England and Mid-Atlantic states representing the Greater New Haven Youth Hockey Association from squirts through midgets, winning two Connecticut state championships along the way. Dave played two years of high school hockey at North Haven High School, picking up another state championship, and two years at Choate School. After playing three years of junior varsity hockey at St. Lawrence University and graduating in 1985, Dave moved west to California. Now in his second year of coaching with the Sabercats, Dave still plays organized hockey while raising two kids, Antonia and Quinby, with his wife Victoria.

Robert Tenore (Goalie Coach)
Robert was born and raised in San Jose, California and started playing hockey (ice and roller) at age 13, taking on the goaltender position, and has been a player/coach ever since. Robert moved to Pensacola, Florida in 2000 to pursue professional hockey. That year he was co-counselor of a local Pensacola goalie camp with Scott Lagrande (1988 Phi. Flyers draft pick and Pensacola Ice Pilots starting goalie) before being invited to Pensacola Ice Pilots training camp (ECHL) summer 2001, although injury ended Roberts professional ambitions.

Since returning to San Jose in 2002, Robert has continued playing competitive hockey and coaching goaltenders on a 1:1 consultant basis. He started coaching as part of a team/club in 2009 as a goalie coach/assistant coach for two years before taking a head coaching position from 2011 until 2015.

Paul Switenki
Paul Switenki
Paul grew up on the lakes, ponds, indoor and outdoor rinks of Minnesota where he progressed through in-house, travel and high school hockey. Summers included stays at Herb Brooks’ Minnesota Hockey camp where the instructors stressed power skating, fundamentals and European tactics and systems. He attended Penn State University where he studied Architectural Engineering and held a work-study position at the campus ice rink, which turned
into his first coaching experience. There he was exposed to and helped run an in-house program that in 1990 was ahead of its time, stressing station-based practices and cross-ice games — much like USA Hockey does today. He also coached U8-U18 travel teams while at Penn State, and U12 and U10 travel teams while a graduate student at the University of Colorado. His first job was in London, England, where coached a women’s team - the Haringey Coyotes. He returned to the US in 1998 and settled in San Francisco just as Yerba Buena Ice Skating Center was opening its doors. With Marek Page and Tim Grice, Paul helped grow a young Sabercat program. He coached the first Sabercat U18 team (2000-2003), U12s (2003-2007), In-house (2008-2009) and U8s (2009-2011). He took some time away from hockey to be with his young family but is now back, working with his favorite age level, the U8s. Paul has achieved Level 4 USA Hockey certification.

Paul’s favorite teams are the 1980 US Olympic Team, the Minnesota North Stars (before they became the Dallas Stars), Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers and, of course, the San Jose Sharks. He loves the current version of NHL, where referees call penalties like they should and skilled players flourish.

Henry Majoros
Henry is new to coaching but is no stranger to the game of hockey: he and his 2 brothers all played hockey growing up in Metro Detroit area, and were skating as early as they can remember. Henry played in travel leagues in Michigan up until college, where he attended the University of Michigan. After college, Henry moved to the bay area and has been living in San Francisco since 2016. Today, Henry plays hockey in the adult leagues of both San Francisco & San Jose. Both as a kid and an adult, some of Henry's favorite memories revolve around the game of hockey, and he is excited to build his coaching experience with the Sabercats.

Mark Smith
Mark grew up in Eyebrow, Saskatchewan. A small farming community in the heart of the Canadian prairies. With lots of space to roam around and an older brother of 2 years. Hockey was always a part of everyday life to pass the time, whether it was in the basement “taking shots” or on the frozen pond in the back, bearing the cold and snow.

Mark started playing his junior hockey for the Nipawin Hawks (SJHL) when he was 16. He would only play 1 year there and then move on to play for the Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL) for the next 4. In his 3rd season, the team won the WHL championship and finished as a Memorial Cup finalist. The play of Smith won the eye of the San Jose Sharks, and they selected him 219th overall in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

Mark would play 2 seasons in the AHL with the Kentucky Thoroughblades, and in his 3rd pro season, would earn a full-time roster spot with the San Jose Sharks. Smith would go on the play 6 seasons with the Sharks and 1 season with the Calgary Flames scoring 70 pts in 377 games, and amassing 457 pim.

After retirement, Smith and his wife lived in Mexico for a few years with their 2 kids but returned to San Francisco in 2015. Mark does some coaching with the NHLs introductory program called “Little Sharks”, and stays active with the San Jose Sharks Alumni Foundation (https://sharksalumnifoundation.org/) as well. You can also hear him doing color commentary with Dan Rusanowsky on Sharks broadcasts from time to time.

Chris Jones

Dmitry Shikhvarg

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