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Chester County Press

Heralded hockey program hires new head coach

08/01/2023 02:05PM ● By Richard Gaw

Courtesy photo           Ben Weston was recently named the new head coach of the Upland Country Day School’s boys hockey team.

By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer

Over the past 45 seasons, head coach Court Dunn and the Upland Country Day School’s boys hockey teams have earned the success that most prep school athletic programs only dream about, as evidenced by the stream of championship and tournament victory banners that grace the John M. Cleveland Ice Rink on the school’s 23-acre campus in East Marlborough Township.

Recently, on the occasion of Dunn’s retirement, the school began to write a new chapter to add to the program’s storied history with the naming of Ben Weston as the new head coach of its boys team.

Weston brings an extensive resume of hockey playing and coaching experience to Upland. As a player, he was a member of Tier I youth hockey clubs in the Philadelphia area before playing at the prep school, junior, and college levels. As a coach, he has worked with several of the premier programs in the Mid-Atlantic regions, including the Philadelphia Junior Flyers and New Jersey Devils Youth programs.

Since 2010, Weston has played a key role in the Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association’s player development program, and has also been coaching with the USA Hockey National Selection Camp since 2014, which evaluates the top players aged 15-17 for the U17 Hinka and U16 Five Nations tournaments.

Under Weston’s tutelage, Upland players will be counseled on how to properly prepare for hockey on the high school and college levels.

“There are a few different ingredients that make up my coaching style, including a high level of communication, accountability and commitment,” Weston said. “There will also be a focus on ELM – Effort, Learning, and Mistakes. I want players and students to understand that while mistakes are part of the process, we need to make sure we’re always putting in the effort, and we need to be learning.”

“Weston’s philosophy and experience align with Upland’s rich history, strong traditions, and values,” said Head of School Dr. Dan Hickey. “The Varsity Prep program was designed for student-athletes seeking an exceptional educational experience along with elite-level training and competition built into their school day. Upland’s high-caliber coaches, its on-campus rink, and storied history, coupled with its highly regarded educational approach, offer players an unparalleled opportunity to excel both on the ice and in the classroom.”

“Our program is modeled after highly-successful prep school and NCAA hockey training programs,” said Upland’s Athletic Director Taylor Swarter, who will serve as an assistant coach on the team. “It prepares talented and ambitious student-hockey players in grades seven through nine to compete athletically and academically at the New England prep school or Tier I level and ultimately NCAA hockey after graduation from Upland.

“We’re eager to see where Ben takes the team and the program.”

Joining Weston and Swarter will be assistant coaches Jud Morris, Taylor Cullen and Dunn, who will remain active in the program. In addition to coaching, Weston will serve as the assistant athletic director, a teacher and an advisor.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].