Larry Vieira's playing career dates back to age six when he first started playing organized travel hockey. Larry played goalie for various youth hockey programs in the area from Mites all the way up through high school. After playing four years of hockey in Milford, Larry tried out as a walk-on and made the Div 2 University of New Haven hockey team. At UNH, Vieira played alongside Dean Lombardi, Marty Crouse and Gary Lindgren. Larry's hard work and dedication paid off with a partial scholarship for his final two seasons with UNH. After graduating from UNH, Larry was granted a tryout with the Erie Golden Blades of the East Coast Hockey League. Vieira played for a short stint with the Blades before his ultimate release.
Larry's coaching career began at age 22 as an assistant coach for the Southern Stars. At the ripe young age of 23, Vieira was appointed head coach at Branford High School. Larry has spent the last 31 years coaching at the High School level with Branford, Darien and currently New Fairfield-Immaculate. Although Larry gives all the credit to his players and assistant coaches over the years, Larry's accomplishments include:
- 2014 SWC Champs
- won the Southern Connecticut Conference Division II tournament championship in 2000, 2003 and 2005
- SCC tournament runner-up in 1999, 2007 and 2009
- 24 state playoff appearances reaching the quarterfinals 14 times and semifinals 5 times
- won the 1988 CIAC Division II State Championship
- selected as HS Juniors All Star head coach in 2010-11 and 2012-13
- over 360 HS coaching career wins
Viera has also coached at the collegiate level as an Assistant Coach with Manhattanville College focused on goalie development and recruiting. Larry personally identified, recruited and signed 12 players to their freshmen season with Manhattanville in 2012. Vieira also moonlights as a Junior A scout for a number of organizations.
Regarding Coach Vieira's youth hockey coaching experience, Larry has been developing young players for the Southern Stars on and off for over 10 years. He is a USA Hockey Level 5 certified coach and has been selected numerous times as head coach for Team Connecticut. Specific to Southern, Larry has been a head coach for Tier 2 Midgets U16/U18, Midget Open U18, and Bantam A.
In terms of coaching style, Larry considers himself to be a player's coach. Vieira believes that limits should be set with each player, and that specific team goals and objectives must be established early on. He stresses to each player that they can only achieve those goals through hard work and discipline. That being said, Larry believes the the most important aspect of hockey is for the players to have fun while at the same time learning life's lessons. He coaches hockey in the same fashion he teaches his high school students - build up each and every individual in order for them to reach their full potential. Vieira has said, "By far my biggest accomplishment is that I have had the honor to help young adults become men for most of my life, both in the classroom and on the ice".
Coach Vieira has been a Psychology and Sociology teacher at West Haven HS for the past 25 years. He holds a Bachelors degree in Law Enforcement, Masters degree in History, and a Special Education degree.