BUFFALO – The Buffalo Beauts have hired former professional hockey player and Western New York native Jeff State as an assistant coach for the 2022-23 Premier Hockey Federation season. State will join head coach Rhea Coad and assistant coach Julia DiTondo to round out the team’s on-bench coaching staff for the upcoming season.
“We as an organization are excited to be adding Jeff to our team,” said Coad. “He fosters the core values that drive our culture. We are excited to learn from and grow with Jeff. His extensive playing career is something that we believe can help our players reach a new level of potential.”
State played three seasons of junior hockey – in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers (1997-98) and Dubuque Fighting Saints (1998-99) and the OJHL’s Burlington Cougars (1999-00). He would then move on to play two seasons (2000-01, 2001-02) of NCAA hockey with Merrimack College where he played 70 games, went 1-11-12 for scoring, and compiled 142 penalty minutes.
“I will bring my years of hockey experience across the junior, college, and the pro-level to the Beauts organization,” said State. “I was fortunate to play in various leagues with many different great players, staff, and coaches. I believe my knowledge of the game can help the Beauts raise their competitiveness and continue to be an outstanding hockey team moving forward into this season.”
Primarily known as an enforcer, the 6-foot-7 State would move onto the professional game after two his seasons with Merrimack. He signed a 2-year contract with the New York Rangers in the summer of 2002 and would play for their affiliates the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL) and Charlotte Checkers (ECHL) over the next two seasons. Following his time with the Rangers, State would have stops with the Danbury Trashers (UHL), Reading Royals (ECHL), Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL), Texas Wildcatters (ECHL), Utah Grizzlies (ECHL), Fresno Falcons (ECHL), and Hershey Bears (AHL). Under the tutelage of current Vancouver Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau, State won the 2006 Calder Cup championship with the Hershey Bears.
State would finish his pro career following the 2007-08 season after stops with the Elite Ice Hockey League’s Edinburgh Capitals in Scotland and the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals. Having played for and learned from the likes of Boudreau, the Vegas Golden Knights’ former assistant coach Ryan McGill, and New York Rangers’ legend Nick Fotiu, State is excited to impart his knowledge to the Beauts players.
“In order for a team to be successful there must be a strong sense of team chemistry and unity,” said State. “Coaches and players must work together towards the ultimate goal of winning a championship. The small victories won through hard work during practice and preparation lead to the big ones. All of this can be accomplished while maintaining a positive atmosphere focused on growth, and of course, having fun in the process.”
In addition to State and DiTondo, the Beauts and Coach Coad plan to retain previous assistant coach Mark Zarbo as the team’s new skills coach and with Shane Madolora continuing to be the team’s goaltending coach position.