Scrolling Headlines:

UMass field hockey pulls off thrilling overtime victory against Northeastern -

Thursday, September 3, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Kicking competition between Blake Lucas, Mike Caggiano nearing decision -

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Adam Liccardi found guilty in UMass rape trial -

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Jackson Porter adapting well following switch to wide receiver -

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Minutemen look for Robert Kitching to anchor defensive line -

Monday, August 31, 2015

Closing arguments delivered in Adam Liccardi rape trial -

Monday, August 31, 2015

Early goals sink UMass men’s soccer in loss to Saint Peter’s -

Monday, August 31, 2015

UMass field hockey splits weekend matches with UNH and BU -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass women’s soccer struck by injuries, struggles offensively as it falls to No. 24 Rutgers -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass men’s soccer drops season opener to Utah Valley in overtime -

Friday, August 28, 2015

UMass football notebook: Jackson Porter moves to WR, UMass schedules 2016 game with South Carolina -

Friday, August 28, 2015

Former UMass student who accused four men of rape in 2012 testifies during trial Friday -

Friday, August 28, 2015

REPORT: UMass football’s Da’Sean Downey faces two assault charges in connection with February fight -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football Media Day: Catching up with Joe Colton -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Creating turnovers, forcing mistakes the focus for linebacking corps -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jurors hear police interview, read text messages by defendants in third UMass rape trial -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

‘Living at UMass’ app aims to make move-in weekend a breeze -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass rape trial halts abruptly, opening statements delivered Tuesday -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Jamal Wilson returns from injury with confidence he is ‘main guy’ at running back -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Freshmen Sekai Lindsay, Andy Isabella impressing at running back -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass introduces Micheletto as new hockey head coach

John Crispin Photography

John Crispin Photography

The Massachusetts hockey team finally found its man in John Micheletto.

The decision was made after a search of more than 50 candidates.

“I am humbled to be the 13th head coach at the University of Massachusetts,” said Micheletto, who was formally introduced at the Mullins Center in a press conference Monday afternoon. “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 took the job on a five-year contract worth $210,000 annually with performance-based incentives. His hiring concludes the nearly month-long search that began on June 19 when 12-year coach Don Cahoon stepped down as coach of the Minutemen.

Micheletto is only the third UMass coach in the last 20 years and first in the last 12.

“What really matters in a process such as this is it’s not the first person you talk to, but the last,” said UMass Athletic Director John McCutcheon. “In that regard, we couldn’t be more pleased with how this process went and who we identified as our next coach.”

This is Micheletto’s first college head coaching job. He previously served as an assistant at Union, Notre Dame and, most recently, Hockey East rival Vermont, where he has served since 2003-2004.

In 2006, Micheletto was named director of recruiting at UVM and was an instrumental part of the Catamounts’ Frozen Four run in 2009.

Since joining Vermont, Micheletto has coached or recruited 12 different Catamounts that were selected in the NHL draft, including rising sophomore Connor Brickley (second round, 2010) and Viktor Stalberg of the Chicago Blackhawks.

However, it was not just his achievements as a coach that stood out to McCutcheon.

“I think you’ll find as you get to know [Micheletto],” said McCutcheon, “that he is a person of integrity, a person of character, a proven recruiter … and a true educator.

“I think his success in recruiting was important. Also, his understanding of [Hockey East] and experience of the league. He knows what it takes to win in this league,” McCutcheon said.

Micheletto’s has some familiarity with much of the Minuteman roster as he handled scouting duties whenever UVM faced UMass. With that in mind, he has plenty of goals for this young, up-and-coming bunch, which he considers a “sleeping giant.”

“The goal is to continually improve as a team until we are among the conversation of teams that are in the national acclaim on an annual basis,” said Micheletto. “Sustaining this national relevance will certainly be difficult, but I believe we have the pieces in place to achieve it.”

Micheletto anticipates this team to be a fun and exciting one under his style of play, which consists of fast-paced hockey up and down the ice, as well as a strong commitment to defense and creating turnovers.

“I like to play fast,” said Micheletto. “There’s a big difference to playing speed and playing fast. We certainly have a good base of players with good speed and we’re trying to formulate that into playing much faster.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun to play offense, but we’re going to get that offense from turning pucks over. I want it to be in your face, playing with a little sandpaper, make sure we’re turning pucks over and incorporating people into transition so that we’re creating odd-man breaks and use secondary offense off of that.”

In terms of hiring a staff around him, Micheletto has had few conversations about the process, but does expect to quickly dive into it.

The same goes for recruiting, which he considers the “life blood of any program.” They plan to start right away, and his experience recruiting across North America and around the world has him telling all potential recruits to “circle Amherst on their maps.”

A prime example of that comes from his recruiting of Stalberg, whom he traveled to Stockholm to watch play after receiving a letter of interest from him at Vermont. After watching just two games, Micheletto was convinced, and his rise in the NHL surely doesn’t hurt his resume.

When it comes to his players’ preparations, Micheletto has faith his players will be ready.

“I don’t think there’s any hurry,” said Micheletto. “The way that we play is you’re gonna be quick but you don’t want to hurry and I think our preparation should be the same way. Our guys certainly are getting ready at this point physically.”

Micheletto is originally from Illinois, but does have New England roots. He attended high school at Milton Academy in Milton and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1990.

His educational background clearly stood out to McCutcheon, who made a point of Micheletto’s use of the word pedagogy during the interview process. The word means the function or work of a teacher, which is something the newest Minuteman coach sees as something important as a leader of a program.

Micheletto is not only there to coach, but also to teach.

Nick Canelas can be reached at ncanelas@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @MDC_Canelas.

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