Laconia Leafs General Manager Will Fay announced this week that Joe Cardarelli has been named as Head Coach of the Laconia Leafs AJHL team for the 2012-2013 season. Cardarelli comes to the Leafs with a wealth of experience, including recruiting the players who built the foundation from which Oswego State (SUNYAC) won its first NCAA Division III National Championship in 2007, as well as time in other junior leagues.
“I am very pleased to receive this opportunity,” stated Cardarelli. “Laconia is a special place and it is an honor to be a part of this program. We will continue to bring in the finest young men and I believe we're going to have this program headed in the right direction very shortly," Cardarelli continued. “The Leafs have a rich history and I look forward to building upon that. I appreciate Will Fay’s confidence and support and look forward to serving as the head coach of this program.”
"The quality of the pool of candidates we interviewed was excellent, but Joe quickly rose to the top of our list," Fay said. "Throughout our national search, we found that he is someone who embodies everything we wanted in our next AJHL coach. As an outstanding coach and an individual, he understands the importance of student being first in student-athlete. I know he will be able to take our program back to a higher level and compete for championships in the tradition that is Leafs hockey. One of our key search components was finding someone with the ability to recruit players, and a strong personality, in terms of character. I think the timing is right to do this for the program. I feel confident we're putting Joe, and other aspects of the program, in place to make some dramatic improvements.”
Fay will retain his role as General Manager, and move over to be the head coach of the program’s MJHL team.
“I am really excited to allow Joe to operate the AJHL team, while at the same time, serving a more developmental role with our MJHL team,” said Fay.
Cardarelli previously served as an assistant coach with American International College (NCAA Division I, Atlantic Hockey) in Springfield, MA. In addition to on-ice responsibilities, recruiting student-athletes, strength training and video analysis, he also monitored the student-athlete’s academic performance. With academic success a priority for AIC hockey, a record 20 of 27 players earned all-academic conference honors for the 2007-08 school year.
Also at the collegiate level, Cardarelli served as an assistant coach at Oswego State (NCAA Division III, SUNYAC) for three seasons. He helped guide the Lakers to two league regular season championships and was responsible for recruiting new student-athletes as well as practice preparation, scouting opponents, reviewing game film and handling the defensive pairings during games. Cardarelli’s recruiting classes led Oswego State to its first-ever National Championship with two All-Americans, the SUNYAC 2005 and 2006 Rookie of the Year, five All-SUNYAC players, and eight members of the SUNYAC’s All-Academic team.
Cardarelli is also active within USA Hockey, coaching at the Select 14, Select 15, Select 16, or Select 17 National Player Development Festivals in each of the past twelve summers. He is also an instructor in the Coaching Education Program, a former Carolina Amateur Hockey Association board member, and the past-director of the USA Hockey Southeastern District ACE Coordinator program, responsible for developing youth coaches throughout the eleven state region.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)