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Lincoln Stars Hockey Operations Staff Announcements

By Lincoln Stars Staff, 07/08/21, 1:15PM CDT



LINCOLN, NEBRASKA — The Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League are pleased to announce the following recent hockey operations department staff moves:
Nick Fabrizio has been named General Manager of Hockey Operations
Billy Pugliese has been promoted to Assistant General Manager/Director of Scouting
Rocky Russo has been hired as the franchise’s eighth Head Coach 
Fabrizio comes to Lincoln after a career as a player advisor and agent. Nick’s clients enjoyed success at the junior, NCAA, and professional levels. A native of Chicago and a licensed attorney, Nick is a former goaltender at John Carroll University and a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law. Fabrizio brings to his GM role nearly a decade of experience working with players and programs at all levels of hockey throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
“I’m very pleased to join the Lincoln Stars,” Fabrizio said. “Our goals this year and beyond are to make Lincoln a consistently winning organization and a place for players to develop and move on to the next level.”
Since 2018, Pugliese has served as Lincoln’s Director of Scouting. Pugliese played for the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers and the University of Nebraska-Omaha, before enjoying a pro career with the San Diego Gulls and Muskegon Fury. With his new role of Assistant GM, Pugliese will contribute even further to scouting, recruiting and developing Stars prospects and players. 
Russo, a native of Youngstown, OH, arrives in Lincoln after a four-year stint as Head Coach of the NAHL’s Amarillo Bulls, where Russo’s teams posted a record of 137-62-16-15 and a .664 winning percentage. 
“I am humbled and honored to be named the Head Coach of the Lincoln Stars," Russo said. "The rich tradition of the organization is incredibly impressive. I look forward to building on the late-season success of the team and building a championship contender for the Stars fans and the Lincoln community.” 
His achievements include a 2013 Robertson Cup Championship during his prior stint as Assistant Coach with the Bulls. Russo, who will report to the Stars GM, has earned a reputation for leading highly competitive, fast, physical teams and has helped dozens of players move on to NCAA and professional careers.
“The announcement of our unique hockey leadership group signals that the Lincoln Stars are committed to building an elite organization,” said Tyler Shaffar, the Stars’ Chief Operating Officer, who himself spent 15 years working in numerous leadership roles for the NHL’s San Jose Sharks before overseeing business and hockey operations in Lincoln. 
“Our mission is to develop elite hockey players and to provide fans and the entire Lincoln community a team that strives for excellence both on and off the ice,” Shaffar continued. 
Further additions to the hockey staff and other announcements about fan and player-friendly upgrades being made to the Ice Box will be released in the coming weeks.
Fans are invited to come see future Stars compete at the team’s Main Camp on July 26-29 at John Breslow Ice Hockey Center in downtown Lincoln. Admission is free and team merchandise will be available for purchase. For information about season tickets for the upcoming 2021-22 season, click here!