When hockey runs your life, it’s inevitable that at some point you’ll be cast as the most important teacher in a young athlete’s career. Especially when your own family is just as crazy about hockey as you are. That’s how it has all worked out for AKG Academy Coordinator and Boston Bruins super fan Beau McBrien. When Finn, McBrien’s 7 yr old son, started skating with the Ice Puppies a couple seasons ago, Beau stepped in as Assistant Coach/Helper and as he explains, “things blew up [from there].”

Soon after, the McBrien boys found themselves living at the rink – inside or outside – much like Beau did growing up. Now, a couple years into his son’s hockey journey, Coach McBrien has ascended to the top of the coaching food chain at the 8U division and finds himself guiding and mentoring the next great hockey players – and some coaches too. The self proclaimed “gear nut” wouldn’t want it any other way.

Being in the right place at the right time helped Coach McBrien start his coaching journey, but it has been his dedication to the game that has moved him into the position he holds now. The Seattle, WA native came to Alaska in the summers as a boy and enjoyed it so much he decided to do whatever needed to make it to Alaska for college. Now that he’s been here for a while and winters have grown on him too, he doesn’t ever see himself leaving. Which brings us back to his coaching journey and the Fairbanks hockey community. After getting involved with the Ice Puppies, Beau has been steadily acquiring knowledge via USA Hockey’s robust training curriculum, the invaluable tips of the trade passed on to him from current and former Arctic Lions and Alaska Grizzlies coaches, and his own experiences on the ice.


Moving into a coordinator role has had its challenges. But being able to work with people within the organization and being a part of building a different direction to progress, nurture, and fuel children’s passion and skills in hockey has been a blast. – Beau McBrien, AKG Academy Coordinator


As Coach McBrien continues to study the game and acquire knowledge to bring more value to his players, his new role allows him to put those tools to good use. Now in charge of planning ice sessions for his littles, Beau relishes his new found role he’s been cast in. Having the privilege to brings a smile to his athlete’s face and the joy they receive from playing hockey makes all the hard work woth it and reminds McBrien of his days playing as a kid.

Of course, all the long hours and shenanigans of being the division coordinator require full support from the rest of the family too. Jessica, Coach McBrien’s wife and Lucy, their young daughter, fully support Beau and even find themselves pitching in when needed making youth hockey in Fairbanks a true family activity. From bagging groceries all summer to earn enough money to buy his Original Easton Synergy as a kid, to bench boss for the AKG Academy, we think Beau’s new role fits him quite well. And a Bruin is a grizzly right?

If you would like to be one of the few who have the chance to pour into the lives and development of the next great wave of hockey athletes, we’d love to have you. Like Coach Beau McBrien and the rest of his comrades on the 8U coaching staff for the AKG Academy – we dare you to take the leap into mentorship.


The Alaska Grizzlies Academy is a specialized curriculum designed to advance youth athletes by leveraging modern training techniques – USA Hockey American Development Model (ADM) – with the acquisition of sport specific skills in the game of hockey. Development for our youngest athletes within or program is achieved by focusing on reduced player to coach ratios (sometimes down to a 1:1 ratio) and grouped skill sets. Creating a safe training environment with low numbers that includes a program cap, a mitigation plan that … (MORE)

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