Lombardi Hired As New Head Coach

     -Gaetan Juliano
Millersvile, PA - - The Millersville Ice hockey Program would like to welcome new coach Michael Lombardi to the team. After going through three coaches in three years, the team feels they have have found the missing piece.

“Three coaches in three years - it can be a lot for these guys to take in. The team spends all year buying into a system to end up learning a new one come next year. You like to see a coach come in with a plan and stick to it, “ says Gaetan Juliano. 

Lombardi grew up outside of Montreal where he played hockey for 16 years. He eventually found his home in the US with Jill, his wife of 23 years. He has been a USA Hockey Level 5 Master Certified Coach for 10 years and worked the last 17 years with Sun Motor Cars Mercedes-Benz as a Parts Manager. He has also spent the last 3 years as the New Car Sales Manager. 

Lombardi has coached High School Varsity hockey for 16 years and spent the majority (9 years) as the Head Coach and Director of Hockey for the Cumberland Valley Eagles. He also spent the last 10 years coaching his two sons (Jared 14, Nick 20) on the Capital City Vipers and Hershey Jr. Bears. He was the Capital City Vipers Chief-of-Coaches for 8 years and the 4th VP of the CPIHL for the last 4 years. He spent 3 years as the Junior (U20) Head Coach for the Keystone Games.

“I owe a lot of my experience and knowledge of the game to Bob Wilkie (Detroit Red Wings) who I assisted for two years with the Keystone Generals (Midget AAA) and former Hershey Bear and AHL Hall of famer Mitch Lamoureaux, who I also spent 2 seasons with coaching the Hershey Bears Junior "B" team.”

Returning to the team this year will be, Strength and Conditioning Coach Kevin Dea and assistant coach Pat Mckenna. Lombardi will be bringing with him another assistant coach, Brent Burgard.

“He is a great person with a great attitude and a wealth of knowledge of the game...I truly feel that Brent, Pat and myself will collaborate very well together to help all of the players improve, be smart and compete in every game and practice all season long.”

Hiring a new coach is no easy task for officers- who had a very busy off season. Zach Juliano worked tirelessly over the summer setting up a tougher schedule this year, pushing players to challenge themselves. Lombardi’s philosophy seemed to fit this vision. He had great things to say about a club, who is strictly student-run.

“It was also the way the four of you presented yourselves and the program that sold me on coming to Millersville to coach. Each one of you presented yourselves with professionalism, the right attitude and the will to win.”

An important question that was raised during the interview was what Lombardi had planned for the players. It was important to know what his goals were for both the players and himself.

“My personal goals for this season are to get to know the program, the players and to create a team chemistry that makes all of the players come to every practice and game with a smile on their face but with the intensity to play at 100% all of the time.”

His team goals were perfectly in line with what this team looks to accomplish each year.

“Make everyone a better hockey player with the right attitude and because of how competitive I am, I would like to win a Championship as much as everyone else.  My ultimate goal every year is a winning season, a strong playoff run and an opportunity to compete to be the last team standing.”

The team is eager to get this season under way. The only thing missing from Millersville’s new look is a GNCHC championship, an accomplishment the players hope Lomabardi can help achieve.