Jim Burfoot, Co-Owner/Director
As co-owner and director of the North Shore Blizzrad, Jim brings 25 years of head coaching and administrative experience to the program. He started his career at Bunker Hill Community College where he was the Athletic Director from 1994-1998. During that time, he also coached the Bulldogs' Men's Basketball, Women's Soccer and Softball teams. The Men's Basketball Team won four Regional Small College titles. They also earned four trips to the NSCAA national tournament where they placed in the top 10 three times. During Jim's final season in 1998 they earned the #1 seed in the country.
Jim went on to coach the Women's basketball team at Lesley University from 1998-2006. Under Coach Burfoot, the team played in four NAC conference finals. They also had a number of players earn all conference honors and one player was awarded defensive player of the year 3 consecutive seasons.
After Lesley University Jim went onto coach the Varsity Girl's basketball team at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School from 2006-2010. While at Hamilton-Wenham Jim also coached the Girl's Varsity Soccer team for two season 2007-08. In 2007 the team qualified for the state tournament and advanced to the second round.
CLICK HERE to read Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle's article: "Hamilton-Wenham Coach Jim Burfoot bids adieu"
Jim returned for a second stint as Head Women's Basketball coach at Lesley University in 2011. He took over the 2-6 Lynx in January 2011. Under Coach Burfoot the Lynx posted a 14-4 record and finished the season 16-10 overall. During the second half of the season the Lynx had a 9 game winning streak while on their way to winning the regular season conference title. The team fell short in the conference championship game which would have earned Lesley University its first ever bid to the NCAA Division III national tournament. Jim decided to step down at the end of the season to focus on the Blizzard. CLICK HERE to read "Burfoot Steps Down After Successful Return to Sideline" from Lesley Atheltics
Coach Burfoot played his college ball at Bunker Hill where he still holds the career assists record. He averaged 12.8 assists and 10 points per game over two seasons. He continued his basketball career at UMASS-Boston for one season.
Jim grew up in Rockport, MA and graduated from Rockport High School in 1990. He played varsity soccer, basketball and baseball for the Vikings. During his senior season, the basketball team qualified for the state tournament and advanced to the third round.
He currently resides with his wife, Caitlin, and their two children Louden & Teighan in Middleton, MA.
Kevin Barboza, Co-Owner/Director
As co-owner and director of the North Shore Blizzard, Kevin brings over 30 years of coaching, training and playing experience to the program. Kevin has been involved in AAU basketball for close to 20 years. He has run Triple & Big Threat as well as the Bay State Blizzard.
Kevin’s coaching career began at Woonsocket High School in Rhode Island. In his second season, the team advanced to the state finals. After three seasons on the bench at Woonsocket HS, Kevin became head coach at Manchester High School. His experience also includes Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Framingham State University and Strength and Conditioning Coach at UMASS Lowell.
Kevin was a three-sport star at Shea High School in Pawtucket, RI. He played football, basketball and track. He earned All State and Honorable Mention All American in basketball, All-League in football and All State & All New England in the 400 meter.
After high school, Coach Barboza played his college ball at Eastern Connecticut State University. In his four years (1982-86) as a starter for the Warriors Kevin totaled over 1400 points and 700 rebounds. In addition to being a three-year captain and team MVP, Kevin was a 1st Team All New England Selection & Honorable Mention All American. Kevin was inducted into the ECSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
Following his collegiate career, Kevin played 2 seasons with the Washington Generals/Harlem Globetrotters. He also played overseas for 4 years with Club Sanjoanense in Portugal. Leading the team in scoring and rebounding, Kevin helped Sanjoanense win two Northern Division titles & advance to the country championship.
As a trainer, Kevin has worked with NBA players such as Rick Fox, David Wesley & Chris Herrin. He is committed to helping players maximize their potential. Coach Barboza has helped dozens of players achieve their goal of competing at the collegiate level.
Kevin currently resides on the North Shore & is the Head Boys Varsity Basketball Coach at Governor’s Academy in Byfield, MA.
Colin Haplin, Coordinator/Coach
Colin Halpin, coming off an extremely successful career at Suffolk, has also developed a passion for coaching and training. He is now the head assistant men’s basketball coach and is excited to share his knowledge at the Academy.
Prior to Suffolk, Halpin dominated the Catholic Conference at BC High. He was a key member of three conference championships and earned a spot on the Patriot Ledger All-Scholastic team his Senior year. In college he continued to excel on the court. In his four-year career, he totaled 1300 points and 500 boards for the Rams.
Caitlin Burfoot, Coach
Caitlin comes to the Blizzard after seven seasons as the first assistant for the women's basketball program at Suffolk University. During her time on the Suffolk bench, the Rams went 114-74, advanced to the GNAC conference finals twice and earned two trips to the ECAC regional tournament.
Caitlin attended St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH on a basketball scholarship. She was a four year letter winner, three year starter and two year captain of the Division II Women’s Basketball Program. During her career with the St. Anselm Hawks, Caitlin amassed over 725 points and averaged a team leading 30.6 minutes and 10.1 points per game during her senior season. She also ranked second in the NE-10 Conference in free throw percentage, shooting 81.2% from the line.
Originally from Stow, MA, Caitlin captained the Nashoba Regional High School soccer team to three Division I State Final appearances, and earned league MVP honors as a senior. In June 2010, Caitlin became the youngest member to be inducted into the Nashoba Regional High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
She currently resides in Middleton, MA with her husband, Jim, and their two children Louden & Teighan.
Kris Melanson, Head Coach
Kris comes to the Blizzard with 6 years of coaching experience. Kris is currently a fifth grade teacher at the Centerville Elementary School in Beverly, MA. He is in his second season as the Freshman Boys coach at Beverly High School. Kris also serves as Assistant Coach for the Beverly Panthers Varsity Boys basketball team. Prior to coaching at Beverly High School, Kris was the President/Director of the Beverly Youth Basketball town program for 4 years. During that time he led the 8th grade boys to a record of 75-18, advanced to the championship game twice and took home one title.
Kris graduated from Beverly High School in 2003. He played varsity soccer & basketball for the Panthers. Kris won Defensive Player of the Year twice for the basketball team and also won the Jason Aucone Memorial Award for sportsmanship. During his senior season, Kris helped lead the Panthers to the State Tournament.
Kris earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2007. Kris also attended American International College where he earned his Masters Degree in Elementary Education in 2012.
Kris currently resides in Beverly, MA.
Blake Cotoia, Head Coach
Leo Fama, Head Coach
Leo comes to the Blizzard with over 30 years of playing and coaching experience. After graduating from Arlington Catholic High School in 1982, Leo continued his basketball career at Suffolk University. During his four years with the Rams, Leo scored over 1000 points, was named team MVP three times and was an All American Honorable Mention in both 1985 and 1986. Leo graduated from Suffolk University with a degree in Accounting.
After graduating from Suffolk, Leo attended the New England School of Law and has been a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association since 1989. While attending law school, he continued his basketball career in the PRO-AM Summer League as a member of the Boston team. Leo currently runs the Law Office of Leo S. Fama, II in Everett, MA.
Fama has been involved with the youth programs in Lynnfield, MA since 2001. He is currently President of the Youth Sports Program, Director of Youth Basketball and also coaches Lynnfield Youth Football.
During the 2008-2009 season, Leo served as an assistant coach for the Lynnfield High School girls varsity program. He helped lead the team to a 10-10 record and advance to the second round of the State Tournament.
In addition to his involvement with the Bobcats, Leo also coaches the Baystate Renegades girls 14U team. During the 2009 season, Fama led the team to a 31-1 record and a 2nd place finish in the national pool in Hershey, PA.
Leo currently resides in Lynnfield, MA with his wife, Jeana, and their four children Jillian, Joey, Stephen, and Julianna.
La Toya Thomas, Head Coach
La Toya Thomas comes to the Blizzard after finishing her collegiate career at Bentley College in 2006. She spent two seasons after college coaching at Suffolk University and Stonehill College respectively. While at Suffolk, the Rams advanced to the GNAC tournament and earned a trip to the ECAC regional tournament as well. A year later, while working as 2nd assistant at Stonehill, the Skyhawks won both the NE-10 regular season and tournament championships. They also earned a spot in the NCAA regional tournament before falling to eventual National Champion Franklin Pierce.
While at Bentley College, La Toya played in 114 games over the course of her career and started all 33 in her senior campaign. As a senior, she averaged a team-best 28.5 minutes and was 2nd on the team in offensive rebounding and steals.
Prior to Bentley, La Toya was a standout at Brockton High School where she earned 3 Varsity Letters. While at Brockton High School, La Toya advanced to the Eastern Massachusetts Finals twice and won a State Championship in 2001. During Brockton's championship run, La Toya led the way averaging a double double in both points and rebounds.
Currently, La Toya resides in Taunton, MA and works as a Quality Assurance Specialist for Comcast.
Heather Marino, Head CoachEmail:
Heather comes to the Blizzard after completing her collegiate career at Southern New Hampshire University in 2008. She spent the 2009 season coaching with both the Eastern Mass Lightning and the Melrose YMCA.
Heather attended SNHU in Manchester, NH on a basketball scholarship. As a senior, she was one of only seven players to play in all 28 games for the Penmen. During her senior season, Heather averaged 18.4 minutes and 4.8 points per game. She also ranked sixth in the NE-10 Conference with 27 blocked shots.
A 2004 graduate of Arlington Catholic High School, Heather averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks per game during her senior season. During Marino’s four years on varsity, Arlington Catholic posted a record of 77-14, going unbeaten in league play (39-0) during her final three seasons. Heather also led the Cougars to four straight tournament appearances and a school record 21 wins in a single season.
Heather graduated from SNHU with a degree in History. She currently resides in Billerica, MA.
Chrissy Gonynor, Head Coach
Chrissy comes to the Blizzard with 9 years of coaching experience. She began her coaching career with the Mass Storm AAU program and was an integral part of the Woburn travel program from 2003-2007. She spent two years as a varsity assistant for the girls basketball team at Bishop Fenwick High School. After her time at Bishop Fenwick, Chrissy became the varsity head coach at Austin Prep from 2006-2010. This past season, Gonynor coached with the Bay State Renagades AAU program.
Chrissy graduated from Woburn High School in 2002. During her senior season, Gonynor averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists per game. She earned team MVP honors and was named to the All League Team her senior season.
Chrissy went on to play at Westfield State for two seasons. While at Westfield, Chrissy's mother passed away and she made the difficult decision to leave college and care for her 4 younger siblings. She finished her degree at Middlesex Community College in 2007.
Chrissy currently resides in Methuen, MA with her husband, Chris.
Bob Aho, Head Coach
Bob brings over 20 years of coaching and playing experience to the Blizzard staff. He played his college basketball at Bridgewater State College where he was a shooting guard. He is currently coaching the Masconomet 8th grade boys travel team as they compete in the Cape Ann League. For the past two seasons, he's been coaching for the Eastern Raiders AAU program. Bob has also been a middle school Math and Science teacher for the past 12 years.
Bob currently resides in Middleton, MA with his wife, Teresita, and their two sons Jalen 14 and Ronen 8.