TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Storm on Thursday announced that Nick Vitucci will remain as the head coach and director of player personnel. Beginning 2003-04 as an assistant coach, Vitucci was named interim head coach of the Storm on December 20, 2003 and head coach on January 26, 2004, going 14-27-8 after replacing Steve Harrison.
“I have been excited about Nick’s work ethic since he took the reigns as head coach and he is very motivated to build this team once again into championship caliber,” said Storm Vice President and General Manager Mike Miller. “That was evident with the moves he made at the end of the year to improve this team for next season. I believe he is ready to guide this team to the next level. Nick feels the same way I do about winning and I like that.”
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to continue to build this program. I am very proud to be a part of the Toledo community and this organization, and I know that I can guide this team back to where it should be as one of the elite teams in this league,” said Vitucci. “The excitement level about this team should be very high with the moves we made at the end of the year. In addition, the opportunities with junior hockey and free agents coming this summer will help this club grow. I cannot wait to start the 2004-05 campaign.”
Vitucci, who played for Toledo in 1993-95, has won five ECHL championships, four as a player (1989, 1990, 1994 and 1996) and one as an assistant coach (2002), more than any other individual in league history. The 36-year-old Vitucci holds the ECHL career goaltender records for most games (479), most minutes (27,291), most wins (265), most 20-or-more win seasons (7) and most consecutive 30-or-more win seasons (2) and is tied for the most 30-or-more win seasons (2) and the most consecutive 20-or-more win seasons (4). Named to the ECHL 15th Anniversary First Team, Vitucci holds the ECHL postseason goaltender career records for most games (80), most minutes (4,841), most wins (43), and ranks third among all players in most career playoff games (80).
Vitucci was named First-Team All-ECHL in 1991-92 and 1997-98 while earning Goaltender of the Year in 1997-98. He was named the Most Valuable Player in both the 1989 and the 1996 Riley Cup Playoffs.