CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton University Associate Dean for Athletics and Recreation Deanna Tyson has announced that Mike Venezia will take over as head coach of the Castleton women's ice hockey team, effective August 27, 2018.
Venezia comes to Castleton after spending one year as a volunteer assistant coach for the Union College women's ice hockey team, a Division I program. For the Dutchwomen, Venezia assisted in planning and executing daily practices, tracked and maintained individual season statistics designed to enhance player development, and arranged the team's travel.
Previously, Venezia was an assistant coach at Morrisville State for two seasons, helping the Mustangs establish the women's ice hockey program from scratch. During those two years, Morrisville State posted a 30-20-4 overall record, winning the Colonial Hockey Conference in 2016-17, and also showed its proficiency in the classroom, earning the highest grade point average of all Mustang athletic teams during the 2015-16 academic year.
"I believe Mike's experience at different levels of collegiate hockey over the past several years has prepared him for this job. I look forward to seeing him use that experience to build his own program here at Castleton," said Tyson.
From April 2014 to October 2015, Venezia was the head scout and assistant coach for the Philadelphia Junior Flyers 19U Tier 1 Girls and Midget 16U Boys club teams, helping multiple players find collegiate playing opportunities. He also served as assistant coach and recruitment coordinator for the West Chester University women's ice hockey club team in the 2013-14 season.
Venezia received his bachelor's degree in sport administration from Lock Haven University in 2011, where he was a member of the club ice hockey team. He started his coaching career as the head coach of the Villanova University women's ice hockey club team for two years, implementing systems designed around the team's abilities and recruiting prospective team members.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Athletic Director Deanna Tyson, President Karen Scolforo, and the rest of the search committee for providing me with the opportunity to lead the women's hockey program here at Castleton University," Venezia said. "This program has a rich tradition of success, and I am honored to continue that tradition on the ice, in the classroom and in the community."
The Castleton women's ice hockey team won four of its final five regular season games in 2017-18 as well as its quarterfinal game in the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Tournament, finishing at 13-13-1 overall. The Spartans are scheduled to open the 2018-19 season against Morrisville State, one of Venezia's former teams, at Spartan Arena Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27, with the rest of the Castleton schedule to be announced soon.