Adam Keefe Profile
There comes a time in a players career that he thinks about retirement and what he will do after. For Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe that decision came easy.
Adam Keefe had a promising career coming up through the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers. A duel threat in the way of fighting and scoring goals his career outlook looked promising. From his OHL days to the AHL he literally fought his way to success. Although he never made the NHL he had quite the career in every arena he played in. He never took a shift off and the opposition knew that if Keefe was in the ice to keep your head up.
He never led the league in scoring. He never led the league in goals. What he did do was he played with heart and emotion. He didn’t score many goals but the ones he did score were important, timely goals. He never backed down from a fight either. If he lost a fight he came back that game and wanted more. If his team was ahead or behind he would fight the toughest guy in the other team. He was a true warrior in every sense of the word.
When he did decide to hang up his skates he found an opportunity shortly thereafter. In 2015-16 he became the assistant coach for the Belfast Giants and helped that position until the 2017-18 season when he would be named the Head coach. That position he still holds today. He comes as no stranger to the fans in Belfast, as his last few playing years were spent there. From 2011/12- 2017/18 he played for the Giants and put up some pretty good numbers. 300 games, 56 goals and 78 assists for 134 points, while fighting his way to a Belfast Giants record of 1,082 penalty minutes. He was also captain 5 out of the 7 years played in Belfast.
Since he stood behind the bench for the first time he has been quite successful. He has
won the EIHL Cup every year as head coach and even won the Continental Cup in both 2012-13 and again in 2014-15. He was voted as the 2018-19 Coach of the Year while winning the 2018-19 EIHL championship.
His coaching style is simple- fast, physical hockey with intense puck pursuit. He wants a team that plays the style of hockey that he himself played. His teams never give up and play whistle to whistle.
This season is getting my off to a good start. In the 2021-22 Challenge Cup the Giants are 4-1 for 8 points, 17 goals for and 8 goals against. The special teams are also clicking, as the power play is clicking at a rate of 25% and the penalty kill is strong at a kill rate go 90.91%
Adam Keefe maybe the best coach in Belfast Giants history. He has a mindset of what he wants and he makes sure those tasks are achieved. He wants his players to work hard and it shows. He is determined to get the best out of his team at all costs. His coaching resume is impressive and maybe even lands him a coaching job in the NHL with or without his brother Sheldon, who currently coaches the Toronto Maple Leafs. Keefe deserves a shot in the NHL. However if that never happens I’m sure the Belfast fans wouldn’t mind seeing him remain behind the Giants bench forever.