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Belfast Giants Staff

Steve Thornton – Head of Hockey Operations

Steve Thornton is currently in his third spell with the Giants, first as a player, next as Head Coach and currently as the Head Of Hockey Operations since 2014.

Thornton, born in Edmonton, grew up in Ottawa where he played his Junior hockey before progressing to Boston University on a scholarship. Four successful years with the Terriers ended with a Bachelor of Science and Business Administration degree along with the coveted National Championship title in his Senior season.

He moved onto the pro ranks signing with the Peoria Rivermen of the former IHL before making the decision to “cross the pond”. The European career started in Austria, onto Germany before landing in the UK. He played for Cardiff and London before joining the Giants for his first stint in Belfast where he won the Playoff title in 2002/03.

When the Superleague collapsed, he moved to Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and then back to the UK.

He was hired as the 5th coach in the Giants history and led the team to the Challenge and Knockout Cup in his first season. The following year he missed out on the league trophy by a single point but was able to capture his second playoff title in Giants colours defeating Cardiff in a nail biting shootout.

Adam Keefe – Head Coach

Adam Keefe was appointed Head Coach in May 2017. Famous for his no-nonsense style of play on the ice and popularity in the locker room as well as with the fans, Keefe became the Giants ninth Head Coach after carrying out the job of Player/Assistant Coach with excellence in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons.

In his first two seasons as Head Coach, Keefe led the Giants to back-to-back Challenge Cup successes as well as the 2018/19 Elite League championship.

Keefe has played an extensive role in helping the organisation win three of it’s five Elite League championships. Keefe captained the Giants from 2012/13 until 2016/17 – playing in 352 games and posting 56 goals, 78 assists, 134 points as well as 1,082 Penalty Minutes.

Rob Stewart – Assistant Coach

Rob Stewart’s service to the organisation stretches back to the inaugural season in 2000 and the Giants legend has his number #16 jersey retired in The SSE Arena.

In the 20 seasons of their existence, the Giants have won 11 Championships and Rob Stewart has been part of every single one of them, three as a player and eight as a coach.

Along with Head Coach Dave Whistle, Stewart helped the Giants to the league title in only the 2nd season of the Giants existence in 2002. That season, Stewart was voted to the First All-Star Team, his 3rd All-Star Selection of his career. The following season, Stewart again starred for the Giants as they won their first Playoff Championship.

The following year, Stewart took over the Giants as Coach and fulfilled his end of the bargain with management to save money and finish in the ‘top 4’. During an injury spell in 2005/06, Rob Stewart re-joined the Giants playing staff as injury cover and again helped the organisation to another league championship.

Jeff Mason – Assistant Coach

Jeff Mason joined the Giants in 2010 and spent 8 seasons in teal – posting 63 goals and 160 assists, good for 223 points in 400 games. Mason sits in 1st place in all-time scoring for Giants defencemen and 6th in the Giants all-time standings.

Mason helped the Giants to the Elite League title in 2011/12 with the organisation clinching the championship on home ice in a famous night at The SSE Arena. Mason’s performances also guided the Giants to another league title, this time in 2013/14 as we clinched the trophy with, a record breaking, ten games still to play.

More recently on the ice, Mason starred for the Giants in the Challenge Cup Final on Sunday 4th March 2018 – helping the Belfast side take a 6-3 victory against the Cardiff Devils as the Giants won their ninth major championship and a third for Jeff Mason.

Jason Ellery – Equipment Manager

Jason “Taff” Ellery is the full-time Equipment Manager with the Belfast Giants. Taff plied his trade initially in his native Wales with the Cardiff Devils and then the London Knights. He has also been Equipment Manager with the GB team for the past 15 years and is involved with mentoring trainee Equipment Managers at IIHF Development Camps in the Middle East and Scandinavia.

Often first to arrive at the rink and last to leave, Taff plays a key role in the team’s preparation for games and training sessions, ensuring each player has the equipment needed in order to compete and that it is properly maintained at all times.

James Glover – Operations Manager

James has grown up playing Ice Hockey in Northern Ireland and currently plays for the Giants in the Scottish National League. James is also involved in junior hockey and has recently represented Great Britain as coach of the Under 12 national team.

Having graduated from the Ulster University in 2006 with an Honours in Interactive Multimedia Design, James has worked with the Giants on all aspects of Web, Print and Graphic Design, and is now responsible for event management and the delivery of game night operations.

Mark Brooks – Sponsorship & Partnership Manager

Mark is the Sponsorship & Partnership Manager for the Odyssey Trust – comprising of W5, Belfast Giants & The SSE Arena.

He has a Bachelor of Science (BSc) Degree focused in Marketing from Ulster University having graduated with Honours.

The 2021/22 Season will be the 22nd year of Mark’s involvement behind the scenes with the Stena Line Belfast Giants – having been part of the organisation since day one.

He is responsible for the club’s overall commercial, communications, digital and marketing functions and strategies while overseeing all media relations, website editorial, marketing and sponsorship efforts.

Mark McCrory – Doctor

Mark has been the Giants Team Doctor since 2014/15. He is a Sports Medicine Physician and runs a sports and musculoskeletal clinic at Malone Medical Chambers Belfast.

Mark is a Fellow of the Irish College of Sports and Exercise Medicine and works with other local orthopaedic sports specialists including the Belfast Knee Clinic as well as providing musculoskeletal clinics for local GPs and hospitals.

A former County Level Gaelic Footballer with Armagh and Antrim, Mark was a member of the St Galls All-Ireland Club Winning Team in 2010. He still works closely with St Galls during the summer season as their club doctor. Mark is partner in a North Belfast general practice and is married to Nuala with 4 small children who are now all big Giants fans.