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Joe Cardarelli tabbed to coach Quake

New head coach coming from North Carolina

Yellowstone Quake president Bob Bole announced Charlotte, N.C., Metro director of hockey operations Joe Cardarelli as the team’s new head coach on Friday. Cardarelli replaces Craig Furstenau, who guided the Quake to the North Pacific League’s playoff quarterfinals this past hockey season.

“I’m excited,” Cardarelli said by telephone after being named the team’s new coach. “Hockey is a way of life, and it is a big part of who I am. I’m interested in getting to Cody as soon as possible and becoming a part of the community.”

Cardarelli has served in his current position with the Charlotte Metro Hockey Association for the past two seasons. He is credited with dramatically increasing the number of young players participating in the sport and also overseeing a period of unparalleled success by the association.

During the 2010-2011 season, the Charlotte junior programs qualified for the Carolinas Hockey League playoffs in every division, winning four of six championship banners. The organization’s 12-and-under team finished as the national runner-up.

Prior to that, Cardarelli has served as an assistant coach with American International College, an NCAA Division I school in Massachusetts. He also has a three-year stint at NCAA Division III Oswego State University to his credit as an assistant coach.

“The location was a big part of it,” Cardarelli said about what attracted his attention to the Quake coaching vacancy. “I spend a lot of time out in Colorado, so that’s part of what piqued my interest. As I asked around, I heard that it was a first-class organization and I’m excited to be a part of that. I really look forward to moving to Cody and getting started.”

“The committee went through in excess of 80 applications,” Bole said of the coaching search that resulted in Cardarelli’s hire. “We really had a tremendous group to choose from. One of our key things was finding someone with the ability to recruit players. We weren’t looking to get out of Michigan, but Joe gives us a chance to tap into a different area of the country.”

And Cardarelli is all set to jump into the recruiting part of the process.

“It’s all about recruiting,” the Quake’s new coach noted. “The first thing I’ll do is make contact with the players who are eligible to return from this year’s roster and see what their desires are as far as returning to the team.”

The Quake have eight players eligible to return, although Bole indicated there’s a strong chance that as many as half of that number could be promoted to higher levels of hockey or opt for college next season.

“After that, it’s all about bringing in quality new hockey players that will be good for both the team and the community,” Cardarelli said.

In an ideal world, Cardarelli said his vision for the Quake involves a puck possession style of play that is both aggressive and offense-oriented.

“The great thing about hockey as a sport though, is you put players in situations to use their talents as best as possible and let them make plays,” Cardarelli said. “It really is about putting the right mix of human beings on the ice and adjusting and adapting to the skills and abilities that they have.”

Unlike last season, when the Quake’s coaching change came in August, Bole notes the timetable has not put the team at a disadvantage.

“It’s not even close compared to last year,” Bole said. “There’s all kinds of showcases that will be occurring around the country and Joe is already putting together a list of things he wants to go to between now and the fall. He had already planned to be at some different activities, so that all came together nicely. We’re not under the sort of crunch we were last year.”

The Quake placed fourth in last year’s America West division and were swept in the opening round of the playoffs by eventual NORPAC champion Helena. Helena went on to win the national title.

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