VIDEO: New Andover hockey coach Mike Ciarletta
Thursday, August, 25
By David Willis
ANDOVER — Mike Ciarletta was hungry for a head
coaching job, and while surfing the internet this spring he discovered
the Andover High hockey vacancy.
"Andover seemed like the perfect fit," he said. "I
did everything I could to become a part of the program. I knew I could
do the job."
After a lengthy search, Andover High agreed with Ciarletta.
Six months after shocking the local hockey scene by
dismissing seventh-year coach Mario Martiniello late in the regular
season, Andover announced the 30-year-old Ciarletta as the new coach
"I am so excited," said Ciarletta, who spent two
seasons as head coach at North Quincy. "To me, Andover is one of, if
not the best program in the Merrimack Valley Conference/Dual Country
League. I first interviewed at the end of June and I was very
Scott Manty, who finished the season as interim coach for the final four games, was a finalist for the job.
"We are very happy to have Mike as our coach," said
Andover athletic director Chris Bergeron. "We are looking forward to
the direction that he will lead our hockey program in."
Ciarletta, an elementary physical education teacher in Lynn, has already built an impressive resume as a coach.
After starring at Arlington Catholic, he played at Bentley then UMass Boston.
He earned his first major opportunity when he was
named head coach at North Quincy at only 26-years-old. He held the job
for two seasons (2007-09) and compiled a 23-13-7 record.
"It was hard," he said. "But we qualified for the
state tourney both seasons and had a few pretty big wins. It was a lot
Ciarletta made the decision to move on when he
earned an internship with USA Hockey, working under top coaches
including ex-NHLer Bob Corkum, the associate head coach at the
University of Maine. Ciarletta followed that with a season as an
assistant coach at BB&N last season.
"I learned a lot," he said. "But I was anxious to be a head coach again."
He then learned of the Andover High vacancy. He
interviewed, received a call-back later, and was informed last week he
"He is young and energetic," said Bergeron. "He
knows the sport of hockey and has plenty of experience. He has a very
good vision for the program and we like what his leadership could do
for the program."
Ciarletta is working to build his coaching staff,
and expects to meet with his players in September, once the school year
The new coach follows up Martiniello, who posted a 81-48-21 record and a trip to the 2007 Division 2 state championship game.
Both Ciarletta and Bergeron quickly dismissed the idea that his young age would be an issue.
"I am very confident," said Ciarletta. "The next
generation of coaches, the 30-to 35-year-olds are establishing
themselves. A lot of friends my age and younger are becoming head
coaches. We're young, energetic and very passionate about the game.
"I feel like I work very hard to give the kids the
best experience they can have. And I am very confident about the X's