LACONIA — Andrew Trimble was born into a hockey family, and because his grandfather worked for the New Jersey Devils, he got an up-close view of the sport from an early age. And, though he has always loved being on the ice, he had different professional ambitions than becoming a star player.
“I would tell my dad that I wanted to be a general manager,” Trimble said, speaking from behind his desk at the New England Wolves office within the Merrill Fay Ice Arena. “This isn’t the NHL, but this is a great place to be.”
Trimble grew up in Manasquan, New Jersey, and went to Buffalo State College in New York, where he played forward. He knew he didn’t have the talent to make a run at a professional hockey career, so he began working in the financial services industry.
But he couldn’t stay away from hockey. He soon volunteered to help coach his high school team, and two years later was coaching three different teams. He founded a business, Scoring Concepts, which offers private coaching and skills classes.
“I love hockey, I love the game,” he said. And he found that he loves coaching, too. “It’s addictive.” In 2015, he decided to divest himself of his day job and devote himself to the sport.
“As you get into your early 30s, you find your passion. This is what I wanted to do. I worked really hard to get here,” he said.
He has lived in Gilford since then. It wasn’t his first time in New Hampshire, though, as he spent a season living and playing in Laconia as part of the first Laconia Leafs team, a now-defunct junior hockey program.
“I had a great experience,” he said about that season spent in Laconia. Aside from playing hockey, he also got to know the Fay family, including Will Fay, who was the general manager of the Leafs, as well as Will’s father, Merrill. When he wasn’t working with the team, Trimble worked for Merrill at his shipyard, doing jobs such as shoveling snow off of roofs.
His time with the Leafs left him with more than a love of the Lakes Region. It was during his time in Laconia that he met Jill Baron, who since 2010 has been known as Jill Trimble. The two now have a daughter, Blake, who entered Gilford Elementary School’s kindergarten this year, and a two-year-old boy who answers to “Bear.”
They moved to New Hampshire in 2012 because they wanted to raise their children in the Lakes Region, surrounded by his wife’s large family. In New Hampshire, Trimble also saw opportunity.
“It’s a smaller market,” he said. “I saw a potential to grow here.”
Today, Trimble is part owner and general manager of the New England Wolves junior hockey team. It took him a lot of work to get to this point.
When he first moved to New Hampshire, he took over as coach at Kingswood High School, leading the team to its first winning season in nine years, and he also helped with nearly every team that would take him. Two years later, he was named coach of the Wolves and last year was promoted to general manager. During the off-season, Trimble partnered with Tim Kunes to purchase the team. The Wolves this year operate five teams, from U-14 to U-20, and take in players from Europe, Canada and across the United States.
Junior hockey teams fill a slot between high school and college. The players are generally very good for the high school level, but need to develop a bit before they can make a college team. Trimble said he has placed 75 young men in colleges over the past five years.
Running a junior hockey team isn’t as lucrative as working in the financial services industry, but Trimble finds it more rewarding nonetheless.
“I like running practices, interacting with the kids… You can make a real impact on kids,” he said.