Oliver Ames athletic director Bill Matthews announced the hiring of Zucarelli as the new head coach for the Tigers’ boys ice hockey team. He previously served as an assistant coach under Sean Bertoni for the past three seasons. Bertoni stepped down from the position following the 2018-2019 season.
“I’m very excited to be able to continue to work with the kids,” Zucarelli said. “I’ve spent the last three seasons with the program and I’m familiar with all of the guys. I’m super excited to see what we can do this year. We have amazing leadership with captains Hunter Costello and Ryan Gottwald.”
Zucarelli, 36, graduated from Attleboro High in 2001 and was a part of the Bombardiers’ first hockey team. He played in the program when it was a club team and then when it became a varsity sport under head coach Joe Verderber.
“We’ve got a solid core group of kids coming back this year,” Zucarelli said. “I know we graduated a lot, but we’ll have guys with experience on the ice…a lot of great leadership and that’s what you want.”
The Tigers posted an impressive 41-25-2 record in the past three years under Bertoni, finishing second in the Kelley-Rex division two times. OA led the division in goals for last season and had the least goals against in the division during the 2016-2017 season.
“We are excited to have him assume the head coaching role here at OA,” Matthews said in a release to media.
Zucarelli is hoping the familiarity between him and the players will make for a smooth transition.
“It’s going to be very helpful that the boys know me,” Zucarelli. “They’re used to Sean…and we share some of the same philosophies but there will be a learning curve with my style. But since the majority of them know me and know what to expect from, we’re in a good place to start.”