LINCOLN, Neb. - Lincoln Stars General Manager and Head Coach Chris Michael announced today the team has named Nick Peruzzi Associate Head Coach.
“First off, I just want to say I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity provided by Ryan Schiff, Chris Michael and the entire organization,” Peruzzi said. "I’m excited to work for such a storied franchise—one with a lot of history and a fanbase that is second-to-none."
"Lincoln has always been a team that plays a very hard, physical and fast game. Peruzzi continued. "I hope to contribute to that while also helping our players develop. Ultimately, I want to bring the Clark Cup back to Lincoln."
"We couldn't be more excited to add a person of Nick's caliber to our family,” Michael said. "We spent some time a couple of summers ago at the USHL combine coaching a team so we had some familiarity with each other. He came very highly regarded by many good, quality people in our game but the most important thing was the recommendations he got from former players of his. From his ability to form relationships with the players and help push them to be at their very best in all aspects of life on a daily basis, to his relentless work ethic and positive energy and to his character as a person, I'm fully confident he is the best guy to help grow the championship culture that's needed for success in this league."
Peruzzi, 28, spent last season with the Youngstown Phantoms as an assistant coach and director of scouting. The Rochester, MI native joined the Phantoms staff in the 2017-18 campaign. Youngstown qualified for the Clark Cup playoffs two straight years with Peruzzi behind the bench and was projected to clinch a postseason berth this season before its cancellation.
“We had a good run in Youngstown during my time there," Peruzzi said. "I was put in a lot of roles that allowed me to grow and succeed, and it prepared me well for this position in Lincoln.”
Before his tenure with Youngstown, Peruzzi served as the assistant coach, video coach and recruiting coordinator for the Aston Rebels of the North American Hockey League in 2016-17. With Aston, Peruzzi helped the Rebels to its first NAHL regular-season championship and Robertson Cup Championship appearance in franchise history.
Peruzzi’s coaching resume extends to the U16 and U18 Oakland Junior Grizzlies AAA programs from 2013 to 2016. Former Grizzlies alums that are currently on Lincoln’s roster include Dominic James, Dalton Norris and Owen Michaels.
As a player, Peruzzi suited up for AAA U16 HoneyBaked and U18 Compuware, as well as the St. Louis Bandits (NAHL).