Behind The ECHL Benches – Nick Vitucci, Toledo Walleye

Nick Vitucci returns for his second season as head coach of the Toledo Walleye. Vitucci has been involved with the ECHL as a player and coach since the league began in 1988-89. He was a member of the inaugural class inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2008 and his five ECHL championships are the most in league history.


He coached the Toledo Storm from 2004-07 before the team took a voluntary suspension while the Lucas County Arena was being constructed. Vitucci is 175-134-28 in the regular season and led Toledo to the Kelly Cup Playoffs three years in a row from 2004-07, the first time the team had reached the postseason three straight seasons since 1997-99. He was named ECHL Coach of the Year in 2004-05 after Toledo finished 41-26-5. Toledo finished first in the North Division with a 46-21-5 record in 2005-06 and advanced to the conference finals in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. He initially took over the team as interim head coach on Jan. 26, 2004 and the team was 14-27-8 in the final 49 regular season games.


The 42 year old played for Toledo from 1993-95 and helped the team win the ECHL championship in 1994. He holds the ECHL career goaltender records for games (479), minutes (27,291), wins (265), 20-win seasons (7) and consecutive 30-win seasons (2) while he is tied for the career lead in 30-win seasons (2) and consecutive 20-win seasons (4). Named to the ECHL 15th Anniversary Team in 2003, Vitucci holds the ECHL postseason goaltender records for games (80), minutes (4,841) and wins (43) while ranking third among all players in games (80). He was named First-Team All-ECHL in 1991-92 and 1997-98 and was named Goaltender of the Year in 1997-98. He was named Most Valuable Player in both the 1989 and the 1996 Riley Cup Playoffs.