In the decade since his playing career ended, Johnny Longo said, he’s always had it in the back of his mind to get into hockey coaching.

But starting a family, building a strength and conditioning business: coaching waited, until now. Longo, 37, has been named Notre Dame-Fairfield’s boys hockey coach.

“A place like Notre Dame: When I was growing up playing high school hockey, it was one of the top two or three programs in the state, consistently,” Longo said, who was a standout at Fairfield Prep before going on to Taft and the University of Vermont.

“The last several years, they’ve been struggling to have the success they’re used to. I know the support the hockey team gets from administrators. It was a job that was very attractive to me.”

Longo played 162 games in the ECHL for four teams and went to training camp with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2003, his first fall out of college. He finished his career with the Stockton Thunder in 2006.

Bleggi said that he “was excited” to have Longo as the new hockey coach.

“His knowledge and leadership skills are second to none,” Bleggi said. “I believe that the hockey program as well as the school will benefit because of John’s commitment to Notre Dame.”

Principal Cipriano commented, “It is a pleasure to announce John as our head boys’ hockey coach. I believe John will lead our program in a positive forward direction while further developing the skills and talents of our student-athletes both on and off the ice.”

Principal Cipriano commented, “It is a pleasure to announce John as our head boys’ hockey coach. I believe John will lead our program in a positive forward direction while further developing the skills and talents of our student-athletes both on and off the ice.”

Off the ice, John is the owner of Johnny Longo Strength Academy. He is currently director of strength and conditioning for the Taft School athletic program, the Great River Rowing Club, Fairfield Country Day School athletes, Connecticut Junior Rangers Hockey, Mid-Fairfield Youth Hockey and Connecticut Riverhawks Youth Hockey program.

“I’ve been watching the job (Notre Dame director of athletic advancement) Jim Olayos has done at St. Joseph and at Notre Dame, along with (athletic director) Rob Bleggi, bringing in high-quality coaches,” Longo said. “They’re the kind of people you want to be around and build programs with, and at Notre Dame, there’s a very rich tradition of hockey.”

Under Marty Roos, the coach with the most wins in state history, the Lancers won two Division I state titles and made three finals in a row between 2006-08.

Roos stepped down in January 2012, with Steve Hetherman taking over in midseason.

The Lancers went 4-15-1 last season.

“I think it’ll be a great opportunity,” Longo said. “The young players coming in, the players from last year, everybody’s got a clean slate.”

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; @fornabaioctp