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Instructors

Meet our team
 
 

Mr.
Billy
Wilms

Academy Coordinator / Teacher

604 217 6509
Email: billy.wilms@abbyschools.ca

Mr. Wilms has been teaching in Abbotsford for over 10 years, and playing hockey for over 20 years. He is the Academy Coordinator for the Yale Hockey Academy, and the WA Fraser Middle School Hockey Academy. He graduated from Trinity Western University with a Bachelor’s of Human Kinetics (BHK 2000), a Bachelor of Education from U.B.C. (B.Ed. 2001) and most recently, Masters of Educational Practice (M.Ed 2011) at Simon Fraser University (2011).

He has coached minor hockey at the ‘AAA’ level, (Pacific Coast Champions) as well as organized instructional hockey schools in Richmond. Mr. Wilms brings experience, knowledge as well as passion to this program. He considers himself fortunate to work with student athletes as his dream is to see sport academy students experience academic, and athletic excellence through the sport of hockey. Ultimately, winning at life (Life Champions) is his goal for all kids in the sport academy. 

Billy has worked with the academy since its inception in 2004.

 
 

Brad
Bowen

Director of Hockey Operations / U18 Prep Head Coach
Division: CSSHL Midget Prep

604 996 4347
Email: boknowshockey@me.com

The Yale Hockey Academy is proud to have Brad Bowen on board with the program. Brad brings over 20 years of instructional experience with him as well as experience scouting at the major junior level (Portland Winterhawks) and NHL level (New York Islanders). Brad graduated from TWU with a Bachelor's of Human Kinetics. In addition to running the Vancouver Selects Program, Brad has coached within the Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association for many years.

Students are very fortunate to have Brad Bowen leading their program. Brad currently is head coach of the Yale U18 Midget Prep Hockey Team.  For information on Brad's hockey programs, or the Vancouver Selects Program, please contact him at: boknowshockey@me.com cell 604 996 4347. 

Brad has worked with the academy since 2006.

 
 

Erin
Thornton

Director of Skill Development / Fraser Academy Director / U18 Asst. Coach
Division: CSSHL Midget Prep

6044 615 0080
Email: thornton4@telus.net

Erin brings extensive hockey and sport administration skills to our academy.  He held the position of Associate Director for BC Hockey from 2001-2008 where he was responsible for the Male High Performance Program, Coaching Program and several other development programs.  Erin holds a BA degree in Sport and Recreation Management from the University of Victoria.  He has played hockey at the WHL level (Seattle Thunderbirds) and has scouted in the WHL (Chilliwack Bruins).  Erin presently provides oversight to our Middle School program (Fraser Middle) and as an assistant coach on our Midget Prep Team.  In addition, Erin presently scouts for the Chilliwack Chiefs in the BCHL.   

Erin has worked with the academy since 2013.

 
 

Andy
Neilsen

Director of Skill Development / Goaltenders
Division: Goaltending Coach for Bantam Prep / U16 & U18

604 217 1033
Email: andy@nextlevelgoaltending.com

Andy Neilsen has been developing goaltenders in Western Canada for over 20 years. He has an extensive background in Goaltending. His playing career includes Junior A, Major Junior and playing professionally.  Next Level Goaltending Development Inc. also consults for several minor hockey associations throughout the lower mainland.  Andy is a CAHA certified coach and has coached with Yale for the past 3 seasons in addition to  Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association for the past 10 years. He is well known in the hockey circles throughout the lower mainland for helping develop elite athletes. Throughout his coaching career he has helped athletes reach their goals ranging from AAA minor hockey, Junior, NCAA College, and the professional ranks. For information on Andy's goaltending schools / camps, please contact him at andy@nextlevelgoaltending.com

Andy has worked with the academy since 2007.

 
 

Laurie
Bernard

Strength & Conditioning Coach / Cycle Fit Specialist

Laurie heads up the strength and conditioning exercises for many of our athletes.  She is passionate about ensuring our kids get stronger, and enjoy the process of getting there.  As an elite level athlete, she has the knowledge and skill set to deliver an intense workout session designed to strengthen athletes physically as well as mentally. 

Laurie has worked with the academy since 2011.