Brian Daccord has been involved in hockey at every stage of his life – playing, coaching, parenting, and in business – and at every level from youth to professional and international across three decades. Throughout his prolific career, Daccord has used what he learned in a United States Sports Academy class nearly every day.
A native of Montreal, Quebec, Daccord earned his Master of Sports Science degree in sports management from the Academy in 1993. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Merrimack College, where he played goaltender for the Warriors hockey team. He played seven seasons of professional hockey in the Swiss National “A” league before working as an assistant coach at Merrimack, then Saint Anselm College before joining the NHL’s Boston Bruins as goaltending coach.
Daccord is also the president of Stop It Goaltending, which is one of the largest – if not the largest – goaltending development organizations in the world. Since 1999, SIG has been instrumental in the development of more than 1,000 goaltenders including 25 NHL draft picks, 18 NHL goalies and hundreds of others who played collegiate hockey.
Through it all, Daccord recalled one specific Academy course that he still uses every day.
“The Academy was a great benefit to my career and I can honestly say I use what I learned every day,” Daccord said. “One course really stood out to me. In that course, we had to look at an issue in sports and develop and present three possible ways to deal with the issue. Then, we had to justify which one you would recommend to solve the issue. Honestly, I have used this skill almost every day as a business owner and as a coach.”
Daccord was recently hired as the goaltending coach for the Boston University men’s hockey team, one of the most storied collegiate programs in history. Prior to that, he worked as the special assistant to the general manager and director of goaltending operations for the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes. He also held goaltending coaching and scouting jobs with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, and Adler Mannheim of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the highest-level ice hockey league in Germany.
He’s also the author of three books, the latest of which is called “How to Be a Hockey Parent.” He wrote the book after his experience as the parent of a goaltender – his son Joey Daccord was a goaltender for Arizona State University, then later was drafted into the NHL.
“The book is aimed at hockey parents of all ages, but more importantly parents of all backgrounds,” Daccord said. “My son was one day playing goaltender in college, then literally four days later was drafted and playing in the NHL. I don’t know how parents without a hockey background or resources are able to navigate everything that goes into it without some help. That’s why I wrote the book – to share my knowledge and experience and hopefully help someone else.”
Daccord said he’s been pleased to see the popularity of hockey growing in places where you don’t normally see winter sports. He also touted the benefits of playing hockey – specifically being a goaltender – for young players.
“I really love hockey and specifically the goaltender position,” Daccord said. “I look at it this way: in baseball, if an outfielder robs someone of a homerun by catching the ball right before it goes over the fence, they get this exuberant feeling. As a goalie, you get to experience that 20 times per game. It is an incredibly challenging position but it is rewarding. Goaltending can teach you about overcoming adversity, working through challenges and ultimately it is great for maturation.”