By Ben Kaufmann
County Courier

BFA-St. Albans girls hockey coach Luke Cioffi was recently announced as Vermont Girls Ice Hockey Coach Of The Year for 2018-19 by the  National Federation of State High School Associations. 

The award announcement comes in Cioffi’s 20th year at the helm of Comets. He, along with assistant Jeff Rouleau, has led the 11-time champions each year since the program began in 2000 and has amassed over 300 wins. Cioffi’s Comets won the 2000-01 State Tournament a year before the Vermont Principals’ Association began recognizing the championships and are credited with 10 official Vermont Division I Girls Ice Hockey titles.

BFA’s teams have been dominant on the ice each of the last 20 years, missing just three championship games in the two decades. But it’s the reputation Cioffi, Rouleau and 20 years worth of student-athletes have built as good sports and good citizens which characterizes Comet Hockey and helped land Cioffi this award.

The NFHS looks at a larger body of work when selecting its state coaches of the year in addition to BFA’s runner-up season on the ice in 2018-19.

“This year’s honorees were selected based upon their coaching performance in the 2018-19 school year, lifetime community involvement and philosophy of coaching,” NFHS Executive Director Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff wrote in a release shared by BFA.

Beyond the championships and nearly-annual trips to the season’s final game, Cioffi’s trademark has been teams who have fun and give back. All business come game time, his BFA squads have a sterling reputation on and off the ice. The Comets practice with sled-hockey teams and local youth programs and regularly work with community organizations like Operation Happiness and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Cioffi, a BFA math teacher, will lead his Comets into a huge contest with Burlington-Colchester on Saturday evening at Leddy Park. The County Courier will have more on that game and this new honor for the Comet coach.