Providence Bruins


STAFF_Leach_Jay_HeadCoach2.jpgJAY LEACH • HEAD COACH

Jay Leach was named the 12th head coach of the Providence Bruins on July 31, 2017 after serving as an assistant coach for the team during the 2016-17 season. He took over for his former boss Kevin Dean, who was promoted to an assistant coaching role with the Boston Bruins early during the 2017 offseason. The former captain of the Providence Bruins and Providence College Friars enters his second season as an AHL head coach. He is the third former Providence captain to come back and serve as the team’s head coach, with Peter Laviolette and Bill Armstrong being the others.

Leach, 39, served as assistant coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2015-16, helping the team advance to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs. He was an assistant coach for Adler Mannheim of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) in Germany in 2014-15 and helped lead that team to the league championship.

A native of Syracuse, New York, Leach was originally selected 115th overall by the Arizona Coyotes in the fifth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and played 11 professional seasons from 2001-13. He appeared in 70 games at the NHL level with the New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins, registering three points on one goal and two assists with 60 penalty minutes.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound defenseman also compiled 25 goals and 62 assists for 87 points with 608 penalty minutes and a plus-34 rating at the AHL level with the Albany Devils, Worcester Sharks, Lowell Devils, Portland Pirates, Norfolk Admirals, Providence Bruins, Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Springfield Falcons. In addition to captaining the Providence Bruins from 2005-07, he served as captain of the Worcester Sharks in 2010-11 and the Albany Devils in 2012-13. He finished his P-Bruins career with 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points in 209 games with 324 penalty minutes and a +17 rating.

Prior to his professional career, Leach played four seasons at Providence College from 1997-2001. As a senior in 2000-01, he served as team captain and established career highs with four goals and 21 assists for 25 points in 40 games. Overall he suited up in 142 games for the Friars, totaling six goals and 46 assists for 52 points while amassing 276 penalty minutes.



Trent Whitfield, 41, enters his third season as an assistant coach for the Providence Bruins. He recently served as assistant coach of the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 2015-16. The previous season he was assistant coach of the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2014-15.

Whitfield enjoyed a successful 15-year playing career at the ECHL, AHL and NHL levels. The 5-foot-11, 209-pound forward skated in 194 NHL games with the Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals and N.Y. Rangers, compiling 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points with 104 penalty minutes. He also made 18 NHL playoff game appearances, including four with the Bruins. Whitfield played in 812 games at the AHL level with the Providence Bruins, Peoria Rivermen and Portland Pirates, totaling 247 goals and 349 assists for 596 points with 564 penalty minutes. During his final season as a pro, Whitfield was the alternate captain of HC Bolzano of the Austrian Hockey League (EBEL) in 2013-14, where he recorded 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points in 54 games.

Whitfield served as a captain on six teams, in addition to his one season as an alternate captain for HC Bolzano in 2013-14. He wore the “C” for the Providence Bruins in 2009-10, 2011-12 and 2012-13, for the Peoria Rivermen in 2008-09 and for the Spokane Chiefs (WHL) in 1996-97.

The Alameda, Saskatchewan native was originally selected by the Bruins in the fourth round (100th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.



Hunter Cherni


Now in year three with Providence, Hunter Cherni returns as the Bruin video analyst/team services. Prior to his time in Providence, he worked for the Saginaw Spirit, Lake Erie Monsters and Seattle Thunderbirds. He is responsible for video analysis of all pre-scout and P-Bruins game film for coaches, players and management along with all analytics related to the Providence Bruins. This includes collecting and distributing video of draft eligible players, college free agents, Boston Bruins prospects and potential Free Agents for the Boston Bruins Front Office. The 25-year old currently resides in downtown Providence with his Fiancé Bryanna.

Mark Grotzinger


The longest tenured member of the staff, Mark Grotzinger enters his ninth season with the Providence Bruins as the Head Athletic Trainer. Prior to coming to Providence, Grotzinger worked as the Athletic Trainer for the ECHL Johnston Chiefs from 2007-2009. The 34-year old Scranton, Pennsylvania native currently resides in Cumberland, Rhode Island with his wife Kelly, his two-year-old son Dylan and his dogs Biff, Henderson and Montezuma. 

Garrett McDonough


Now in his second season with Providence, Garrett McDonough returns as the team’s Strength and Conditioning Coach. Prior to coming to the P-Bruins, McDonough served as Director for North East Sports Training and Rehabilitation (NEST) where he helped numerous student-athletes at both the high school and collegiate level develop. During his time, with NEST, McDonough was the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Brown University from 2006-2012. McDonough obtained his Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida in 2003 where he was an intern for several of the university’s nationally renowned athletic teams. McDonough, 43, currently resides in Cranston, Rhode Island. 

Anthony Pelleccione


In his fourth season with Providence, Anthony Pelleccione begins the first year in his new role as the Head Equipment Manager. Prior to his promotion, Pelleccione was an Assistant Equipment Manager for the P-Bruins for nearly two years and broke in with the organization as a game night water boy. Pelleccione, 22, obtained a Bachelor of Science from New England Institute of Technology in Criminal Justice in 2016 and currently resides in North Kingston, Rhode Island. 

David Pezzullo


Entering his seventh season with Providence, David Pezzullo comes into this season as the P-Bruins Physical Therapist. Prior to working with the Providence Bruins, Pezzullo served as the Athletic Trainer and Physical Therapist for the University of Rhode Island Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey team. Pezzullo received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Connecticut and a Master’s of Science in Sports and Orthopedic Physical Therapy from the University of Pittsburgh. The 54-year-old currently resides in Narragansett, Rhode Island with his wife Shelby and their two children, Alyssa and Thomas. 

Dustin Stuck


Entering his first year with the Providence Bruins, Dustin Stuck will serve as the Assistant Athletic Trainer in 2017-18. Prior to coming to Providence, Stuck recently finished his Graduate Assistantship at Penn State University working as an Athletic Trainer. He obtained his Master’s Degree from Penn State University in Educational Leadership and Administration as well as receiving his Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Alvernia University. Stuck spent several years as a volunteer Athletic Trainer for the Hershey Bears and the 24-year-old from Palmyra, Pennsylvania currently resides with his fiancé Rachel. 

Daniel Tanksley


In his fourth year with Providence, Daniel Tanksley earned a promotion to Assistant Equipment Manager for the P-Bruins for the 2017-18 season. Prior to his time in Providence, Tanksley was a part of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy equipment staff and spent 20 years with the U.S. Coast Guard before retiring in October of 2015. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts at Endicott College in 2015. He is married to Susan Tanksley and they currently reside in South Kingston, Rhode Island with their three children, Matthew, Samantha and Andrea. 

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