YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO – The Youngstown Phantoms have announced that Anthony Noreen will be the new head coach and general manager of their United States Hockey League franchise. Noreen now becomes the third coach in team history.
With former head coach and general manager Curtis Carr accepting a coaching position at Merrimack College, the Phantoms were faced with the task of hiring a new head coach with the start of the USHL season right around the corner. The Phantoms did not have to look far for their replacement, as assistant coach Noreen was promoted to the position.
“It obviously helps that we know Anthony very well,” said BJ Alan President and CEO Bruce J. Zoldan, “but it was the optimism and passion that he showed that helped cement our decision. We felt that given his age (28 years old) and his familiarity with our operation in Youngstown, he was the best choice for us. We are confident that Anthony can continue to build upon the foundation that has been built by both Bob [Mainhardt] and Curtis [Carr] as we pursue the ultimate goal of winning our first Clark Cup.”
After spending three years as an assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, Noreen made the jump to the USHL to work with Carr and fellow assistant coach Brad Patterson during the 2010-11 season. At the conclusion of the 2010-11 season the Phantoms had set single season records with 23 wins and 53 standings points recorded.
“I am extremely excited and very thankful to have this opportunity,” said Noreen. “I want to thank the Zoldan family and I want to extend my gratitude to Curtis Carr for giving me the chance to join this organization a year ago. Curt did a great job in grooming me and teaching me the ins and outs of not only the USHL but the Phantoms organization. He treated me as an equal as opposed to someone that worked underneath him. I will never forget the skills that I learned from working with him. I also want to thank my family, everyone in the Phantoms organization, Bill Weimer, Jason Koehler, Brad Patterson, and the former coaches that I have worked with, Rich Noreen, Bob Cabemartori, Brad Saban, Nick Pollos and Joe Baldarotta.”
Noreen was hired to the staff at Stevens Point by former USHL Coach of the Year Wil Nichol. While working under Nichol, Noreen and the Pointer’s amassed a record of 41-34-7 from 2007 through the 2010 season. Noreen names Nichol (now working with the Washington Capitals) his mentor as he continues to progress forward in his coaching career.
“Wil was an unbelievable coach,” said Noreen. “I learned a great deal from him about the game of hockey itself, but even more importantly, how to be a better person. The character traits and the lessons I learned from Wil are one of the main reasons why I have this opportunity today.”
At just the age of 28, Noreen brings a youthful optimism to an organization that continues to take strides forward in building a premier USHL program. With a core group of players returning from the 2010-11 campaign, Chris Bradley, Ryan Belonger and Mike Ambrosia just to name a few, Noreen is confident that his players will be able to continue their development both on and off the ice.
“I will bring a positive attitude and energy to the rink each day,” said Noreen. “My philosophy is simple, I believe in doing things the right way. Our players are here to become responsible young men, become better hockey players, and excel on the ice and in the classroom. My main focus as a coach will be to make sure our players succeed in these areas. Our expectations will be high and they will stay high for as long as I am here. My goal is to turn the Phantoms into a top tier USHL program. We will accomplish this by making sure our guys have the right attitude, and an elite work ethic on and off the ice. These things are non-negotiable. We want this team to embody the fabric of the community that we represent; blue collared, hardworking and stand up young men.”