Head Coach | Dartmouth ’90 | Chicago, Ill.
Background: Micheletto may be in his first stint as a college head coach, but he’s certainly no stranger to the college game. After a year at Dartmouth and a brief professional career that included stops in Europe and the now-defunct Atlantic Coast Hockey League, he turned to coaching. After five years in the prep ranks, he moved to the college level, coaching from 1996 to 1999 at Union and from 1999 to 2003 at Notre Dame before moving to Vermont. He was elevated to the position of associate head coach in 2006 and helped the Catamounts the 2009 Frozen Four.
State of the Program: Micheletto inherits a team that finished 13-18-5 overall and tied for eighth in Hockey East, posting a 9-14-4 league mark. Despite the record, the Minutemen showed flashes of promise last season; five of the wins came over NCAA Tournament teams, including two over eventual national champion Boston College. And while the Minutemen lost leading scorer T.J. Syner to graduation, seven of the 10 skaters to record double-digit point totals do return, led by junior Conor Sheary, who finished last season with 12-23—35 in 36 games. In goal, three candidates for the number-one job return after combining for all but 1:35 of the possible minutes in goal last season.
Micheletto’s players have helped out with the late summer coaching transition after the resignation of Don Cahoon. “Even before the announcement, the guys all made the decision to return early and be in working with our strength and conditioning coach before school started,” Micheletto said. “I’ve had the opportunity to speak to each of them on the phone, but they’ve also been able to stop by and say hello.”
Another thing that will help with the transition will be a strong level of familiarity across the board. Coming to Massachusetts after spending the past nine years at Vermont, Micheletto is already familiar with the styles of play, the arenas, hotels, and travel plans needed within Hockey East. Even more, Micheletto has gone for the familiar in his assistant coaches, bringing Joey Gasparini with him from Vermont to join Len Quesnelle, a holdover from the previous coaching staff.
Coaching Philosophy: Micheletto plans on using the entire available ice surface at the Mullins Center to play an up-tempo, possession style of offense. “I don’t think it’s anything earth-shatteringly new,” he said. “We want to play fast, and not just skating fast; we want to play with tempo, turning transition into offense. I think being difficult to play against and being fun to watch are going to be the two greatest descriptors of our style of play.”