Head Coach John Micheletto
University of Massachusetts Director of Athletics John McCutcheon has named John Micheletto as the new men's ice hockey head coach as announced on Monday afternoon. Micheletto is a 21-year coaching veteran who has spent the last nine years at Hockey East rival Vermont including the past six seasons as associate head coach. He is the 13th head coach in UMass' program history and replaces Don "Toot" Cahoon who stepped down in mid-June.
"After our meetings with John and our consultations with those in the college hockey community, we are thrilled to announce him as our new head coach," said McCutcheon. "John brings a wealth of coaching experience, is a talented recruiter, understands the Hockey East Association, and certainly has a strong familiarity with the UMass hockey program."
"I am humbled to be the 13th head coach at the University of Massachusetts," said Micheletto. "When I first started coaching in 1991, I never fathomed that my first head coaching job would come at such a highly-regarded hockey program as UMass."
Micheletto began his tenure at Vermont in 2003-04 when the Catamounts were still members of the ECAC. He helped UVM through its transition into Hockey East in 2005-06 with his time in Burlington highlighted by a trip to the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four. Since he joined the Vermont staff, Micheletto coached or recruited 12 different Catamounts who were selected in the NHL Draft including rising sophomore Connor Brickley (taken in the 2010 second round as the third highest draft pick in program history) and Viktor Stalberg of the Chicago Blackhawks. In all, over 20 former players have gone on to play professional hockey in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
In June 2006, Micheletto was promoted to associate head coach at Vermont and served as the program's director of recruiting.
Prior to his stint at Vermont, the Chicago native was an assistant coach at Notre Dame (1999-03) and at Union College (1996-99).
Before moving to the collegiate level, Micheletto spent five years (1991-96) in the prep ranks at The Hill School in Pottstown, Pa. Micheletto served as the Dean of Students, an instructor of English, and a dorm parent. As the head coach of the hockey team, he helped resurrect the program during his tenure.
Micheletto has been heavily involved with USA Hockey during his career both on the national and international level. He spent six summers as a coach for the Atlantic District Select teams that competed at USA Hockey's Junior Olympic Festival. In August of 2000, he was selected as an assistant coach for the U.S. Under-18 Select Team, which competed at the Four Nations Tournament in Kezmarok, Slovakia. Micheletto helped guide Team USA to five wins before falling to Canada in the championship game.
A 1984 graduate of the Milton (Mass.) Academy, Micheletto served as team captain and boarding school president. Micheletto then attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 1990 with a degree in English modified with Education. He pursued a professional hockey career, which included stops with the Enschede Lions of the Netherlands First Division and the Erie (Pa.) Golden Blades of the now defunct Atlantic Coast Hockey League.
Micheletto and his wife Melinda, professor of marketing at Saint Michael's College, were married in the summer of 2004. They reside in Essex Junction with their cat and their two rescued dogs.
UMass returns 22-of-27 letterwinners from the 2011-12 season, which saw the Minutemen post a 13-18-5 overall record and a 9-14-4 mark in Hockey East. Five of its top eight point producers will return for 2012-13 led by rising juniors Michael Pereira (17g, 17a) and Conor Sheary (12g, 23a). The bulk of the Minutemen's defensive corps also return as do the trio of goalies in rising junior Jeff Teglia and rising sophomores Kevin Boyle and Steve Mastalerz.
Assistant Coach Len Quesnelle
Len Quesnelle is in his ninth season as an assistant coach of the Minutemen after serving as the head coach at Princeton for four seasons.
During Quesnelle's four years at Princeton, he holds the distinction of being the only coach in school history to lead the Tigers to consecutive winning seasons in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. Princeton posted a 9-9-4 conference record in 2000-01 and played to a 10-10-2 mark in 2001-02.
Quesnelle spent 12 years as an assistant coach at Princeton before being named the program's 14th head coach in the spring of 2000. He spent the previous nine years as the senior assistant coach on Don Cahoon's staff.
In Quesnelle's second season as head coach, the Tigers put together a late-season run to finish in a three-way tie with Brown and Colgate for sixth place in the conference standings. Princeton earned the sixth seed going into the playoffs, bettering the predictions of both the preseason coaches and media polls. The coaches had the Tigers pegged to finish 11th, while the media picked them to finish seventh.
In his inaugural season as head coach, Quesnelle led the Tigers to a 10-16-5 overall record, including a 9-9-4 ECAC mark. It was only the sixth time since 1961-62 that the Tigers finished with a .500-or-better ECAC record.
Following his graduation from Princeton in 1988, Quesnelle remained with the Tigers as an assistant coach on Jim Higgins' staff while pursuing a business career with a consulting firm in Princeton.
In 1991 his familiarity with team personnel and the recruiting process at Princeton helped to ease the transition into the Cahoon era.
A native of Bramalea, Ontario, Quesnelle was a standout defenseman at Princeton, appearing in 106 games and earning All-Ivy League honors as well as the Class of 1941 Championship Award for winning spirit. He played junior hockey for the Bramalea Blues from 1982-84.
Quesnelle has served as director of the Princeton University Hockey Camp and is a frequent speaker and instructor at camps throughout North America.
He and his wife Jennifer have two daughters, Rémi and Georgia.
Assistant Coach Joey Gasparini
After three seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, 2006 University of Vermont graduate Joey Gasparini has joined the UMass hockey staff as an assistant coach, it was announced on Monday. Gasparini will begin his first year with the Minutemen this fall alongside former UVM colleague and new UMass head coach John Micheletto.
"In adding Joey Gasparini to the Massachusetts staff, we've gotten a rare `duel threat;' a terrific recruiter with a keen eye for winners and an outstanding teacher of the game," said Micheletto. "I've witnessed Joey's development throughout his professional career and consider him a huge get for our program. He grew up watching how to put championship teams together and will bring this knowledge here to Amherst. Joey and his wife Amanda, along with their daughter Adriana, are a tremendous addition to the Minuteman family."
"The University of Massachusetts is a program rich with tradition and history and I am honored to become a part of it," said Gasparini. "I am extremely excited to join John's staff and the entire UMass family. I plan on bringing a lot of energy and passion to the job as we look to build on past successes to bring a championship to Amherst."
At Vermont, Gasparini played an integral role in recruiting and managed the Catamounts' forwards with a heavy emphasis on skill and individual development. In 2011-12, he worked alongside Micheletto with UVM's power play unit, which saw nearly a 30% increase in scoring from the previous campaign.
Gasparini returned to Vermont as an assistant coach in September of 2009 after serving as the Director of Scouting and Recruiting for Achieve Sports Management in Chicago, Ill. In his two years with Achieve Sports Management, he oversaw all aspects of recruiting, including player identification and evaluation.
Following graduation from UVM, Gasparini spent the 2006-07 season serving as a regional scout with the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders in the United States Hockey League. The following year he joined the Fargo Force in the USHL as a regional scout.
Gasparini played for the Catamounts from 2002 to 2006 and was elected as an assistant captain his senior season. Over 128 career games, the forward totaled 34 points on 12 goals and 22 assists. He was named to the Hockey East All-Academic Team in 2006 and was an ECAC All-Academic Team selection in 2004 and 2005.
A native of Grand Forks, N.D., Gasparini graduated from Vermont with a degree in Economics and Political Science. His father John "Gino" Gasparini is a former head coach of the men's hockey team at the University of North Dakota. He and his wife Amanda were married in the summer of 2010 and have a daughter, Adriana.