– Poised to build on its long and storied heritage as a powerhouse of amateur hockey, Little Caesars Amateur Sports today announced the appointment of Brian Beaufait as director of the program. In this role, Beaufait will be responsible for the strategic oversight of the amateur sports program, which features the nation’s largest and most respected amateur hockey programs, Little Caesars AAA Hockey Club and the Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League. He will also lead the business operations, marketing and communications, and strategic planning for the organization. Beaufait will report to Karen Cullen, vice president of Corporate Relations, Ilitch Holdings, Inc.
“In addition to playing and coaching the sport of hockey, Brian brings with him a great deal of marketing and project management experience that will help us continue to grow and expand Little Caesars Amateur Sports,” said Cullen. “We are excited to have Brian join our organization and are confident that his unique blend of hockey, business and leadership experience will make him successful in this role. We look forward to many exciting new developments for Little Caesars Hockey and for Little Caesars Amateur Sports in the future.”
In his new role, Beaufait will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Little Caesars AAA Hockey Club, Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League (LCAHL) and will serve as the organization’s representative to USA Hockey, the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA), and the High Performance Hockey League (HPHL). Current Little Caesars Director of AAA Hockey Bill Ciraulo will report to Beaufait, as will Stefanie Boehler, accounting manager for the program. LCAHL Commissioner Joe Emery and the volunteer board of the LCAHL will also work directly with Beaufait to administer and grow the league.
Beaufait previously served as a senior account executive for 12 years for Janssen Biotech, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. In addition, he played hockey for nearly 40 years at all levels outside of professional and also has served as a head hockey coach, most recently as head coach for the ‘03 Little Caesars Travel Team. He was also recently named head coach of the 2013 Detroit Jr. Red Wings Brick Team, a team that will represent some of the top 2003 birth-year players from across Michigan in the highly regarded and well-known Brick Invitational Super Novice Hockey Tournament that takes place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in July 2013.
"Our organization is proud to welcome Brian to this important role," said Ken Holland, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Detroit Red Wings. "I am confident that Brian will set the right expectations to ensure performance at the highest level of excellence at the amateur level, both on and off the ice, just as we try to do at the Red Wings every day at the professional level. I look forward to our two organizations working together to continue to grow and promote the great sport of hockey at all levels."
Former amateur Little Caesars player and professional Detroit Red Wings player Brian Rafalski said of the appointment, "It is great to see the continued commitment the Little Caesars organization has to amateur hockey. Playing in the Caesars organization was something I'll never forget and I'll always appreciate the solid foundation and fundamentals it brought to my game."
Beaufait earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and business from Western Michigan University and currently sits on the MAHA Mite Player Development Committee and holds a Level 4 CEP Certification. He and his wife of 16 years, Susan, reside in Wixom. They have two sons Trevor, 12, and Shane, 9, who are both avid hockey players.
About Little Caesars Amateur Sports: Little Caesars Amateur Sports was created to oversee the business operations of the Little Caesars Hockey Program, including the current AAA Hockey Club, Travel Hockey and the Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League (LCAHL). Michael and Marian Ilitch, the founders of Little Caesars Pizza, began sponsorship of amateur hockey in the 1960s and started sponsoring the Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League in 1978. The league was created to increase the level of competitive play and provide more opportunities for metro Detroit youth hockey players. Today, the league consists of more than 600 travel and house teams with more than 11,000 youth hockey players. Divisions of competition include Tier 1, 2 and 3, AAA, AA, A, BB, B and Girls. Both the LCAHL and Little Caesars AAA Hockey Club work regularly with the Detroit Red Wings, an Original Six NHL club owned by the Ilitches.
Over the years, the LCAHL and Little Caesars AAA Hockey Club have proudly produced more than 500 college and professional players. Examples of former Caesars players who went on to successful NHL careers include: Mike Modano (Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars/Detroit Red Wings), Brian Rafalski (New Jersey Devils/Detroit Red Wings), John Vanbiesbrouck (New York Rangers/Florida Panthers/ Philadelphia Flyers/New York Islanders/New Jersey Devils), Wayne Presley (Chicago Blackhawks/ San Jose Sharks/Buffalo Sabres/New York Rangers/Toronto Maple Leafs), Kevin Hatcher (Washington Capitals/Dallas Stars/Pittsburgh Penguins/New York Rangers/Carolina Hurricanes), Derian Hatcher (Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars/Detroit Red Wings/Philadelphia Flyers), Lee Norwood (Quebec Nordiques/Washington Capitals/St. Louis Blues/Detroit Red Wings/New Jersey Devils/Hartford Whalers/Calgary Flames), Doug Weight (New York Rangers/ Edmonton Oilers/St. Louis Blues/Carolina Hurricanes/Anaheim Ducks/New York Islanders), David Legwand (Nashville Predators), and Kevin Porter (Colorado Avalanche) to name a few.
The program strives to focus on fundamentals and skill development, along with teamwork and good sportsmanship at all levels.