IceGators announce hiring of Drew Omicioli as new coach _lowres

Drew Omicioli, Louisiana IceGators coach

The Louisiana IceGators announced Wednesday that Drew Omicioli would take the team over as head coach for the 2014-15 season.

Omicioli will replace Kevin Kaminski, who compiled a 102-84-13 record in three-plus seasons at the helm. The IceGators are banking on Omicioli’s player and coach network and recruiting skills to be a big plus for the organization.

“We were looking to get a coach in here who has some great recruiting ability,” said IceGators General Manager Louis Dumont in a news release. “He has former teammates who are now in positions where they coach university and junior hockey, and that’s a great resource for us to recruit players.”

Omicioli is already plenty familiar with the organization and the city. His older brother Mike played two stints with the team, once in the IceGators’ final East Coast Hockey League season, and again in their inaugural Southern Professional Hockey League season.

“Having lived here in the past, during the summers of my playing years, I was able to really appreciate the town and the people,” Omicioli said. “I would like to thank the organization and Louis for the opportunity. Their belief in me to come in and bring my knowledge and connections to help build the best possible team and give us the opportunity to win the President’s Cup.”

Omicioli was previously the coach and general manager of the United States Premier Hockey League Elite Division. He coached USA Hockey Select 17 camp and was an assistant at Brown University.

After playing in two Hockey East Final Fours at Providence College, Omicioli played one year of professional hockey in the United States before playing four years professionally in Italy.

Dumont hopes the professional experience at home and abroad helps him recruit players, which Dumont called “half of the job of a coach in the SPHL.”

“He has seen the North American game and the European game, so he has a wealth of knowledge,” Dumont said. “He’s also a young guy who’s hungry and wants to come in here and coach.”

The IceGators’ season starts on the road for two games against the Fayetteville FireAntz Oct. 24. They return for their home opener Nov. 2.