AMHERST, Mass. — Massachusetts Director of Athletics John McCutcheon has named John Micheletto as new head coach. 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 (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.