HAMDEN, Connecticut – Quinnipiac women's ice hockey head coach Cassandra Turner has appointed Eddie Ardito and Amanda Mazzotta as the team's new assistant coaches beginning in the 2015-16 season.
"We were searching to fill our staff with people of great character, a drive to improve every day, and a commitment to upholding the standards of representing Quinnipiac University," Turner said. "Eddie and Amanda fit that description perfectly, bringing energy, expertise and experience that will complement our staff in a way that will undoubtedly continue to push our program to compete for championships."
Ardito and Mazzotta will join the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey program coming off its best season in program history, in which it finished 26-9-3 with a 15-5-2 record in ECAC Hockey play. The Bobcats also qualified for their first NCAA Tournament in program history after finishing third in the ECAC Hockey Regular Season standings and reaching as high as the No. 3 national ranking from USCHO.com
Ardito comes to Quinnipiac from Yale University where he served as the assistant women's ice hockey coach from 2011-12 through the 2014-15 season. At Yale, Ardito served as the recruiting coordinator, produced scouting video and team video review, developed and ran morning skill sessions, and assisted in game and practice planning, among other tasks for the program. During Ardito's tenure as the assistant coach, the Yale women's ice hockey program saw vast improvements as the overall record increased by 14 wins over four seasons. He helped lead the team to their first playoff appearance since 2008 and first ECAC playoff win since 2005.
"With Eddie's proven success in recruiting and player development, I'm confident he will benefit our student-athlete's experience," Turner said. "His positive energy is infectious and will enhance our culture of hard work and commitment to excellence in the classroom, on the ice and in the community."
A Connecticut native, Ardito was a three time all-state hockey player and three-time team MVP at Branford High School. He has extensive experience working at camps and clinics. He has served as an on-ice skills coach and evaluator USA Hockey National Camps since 2011. During this time, he evaluated every player at the U15 and U18 National Camp as part of his responsibilities.
He brings a diverse coaching background to Quinnipiac, working across genders and in a variety of roles. Prior to 2011, Ardito worked at Connecticut College for three years, serving as an Assistant Coach and Director of Hockey Operations with the men's hockey team. During the 2006-07, he led the New England College Women's Hockey program as the interim head coach, leading the team to a 12-6-1 conference record and the semifinals of the ECAC East Tournament.Ardito graduated from Concordia (California) University with a Master of Science in Coaching and Athletic Administration in December 2014 and from New England College in May 2006 with a Bachelors of Arts in Sport and Recreation Management: Athletic Administration with a minor in Coaching.
Mazzotta, an accomplished former ECAC Hockey athlete and dynamic coach, will immediately benefit the Bobcat program working primarily with the goaltenders and defensemen. Succeeding in a variety of environments, she has demonstrated the ability to coach elite level athletes in university hockey, at the club level, and with Hockey Canada. Last year, she served as the goaltending coach on Turner's U18 Team Canada staff. In that role, Mazzotta evaluated, trained, and provided key input on the selection of goaltenders at the August 2014 selection camp and at the 2015 Women's U18 World Championships in Buffalo, New York in January, 2015. Hockey Canada recently named Mazzotta to the National Development Team staff for the 2015-16 year.
"Amanda has shown that she can balance the academic and athletic demands of the ECAC, excelling at Cornell and demonstrating a winning mentality in all that she does," Turner said. "I'm excited for her to be a role model for our student-athletes and continue to raise the standard in which we compete on a daily basis. She's a dynamic young coach with a very bright future ahead of her."
Previously, while pursuing her Master's Degree in Kinesiology at Western University in London, Ontario, Mazzotta gained experience as an Assistant Coach with the university team and with the London Devilettes Hockey Program. At Western, Mazzotta assisted with all aspects of the team including drills, goaltender sessions, team tactics and video sessions. She worked with both the London Jr. and Bantam teams, helping guide the Bantam AA team to a Provincial Gold Medal this past year. Mazzotta also served as Team Ontario's Goaltender and Video Coach at the Canada Winter Games, an assistant at the Ontario Winter Games, and as the video coach with Team Ontario Red in 2013.
Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Mazzotta established herself as one of the nation's best goaltenders during her playing career at ECAC Hockey rival Cornell University. From 2008 to 2012, she helped lead the Big Red to three Ivy League Championships, three ECAC Hockey Regular Season Championships, two ECAC Hockey Tournament Championships, three NCAA Final Fours, including the 2009-10 NCAA National Championship game. Over her career, she went 53-17-8 with 22 shutouts, a 1.55 GAA and a .928 save percentage. As a junior in 2010-11, Mazzotta led the nation in Goals Against Average at 1.11, compiling a 16-2-0 record and .945 save percentage. She has represented her country three times as a player, once as a member of Hockey Canada's U18 National Team and two times with the National Development Team.
Mazzotta graduated from Western University with a Masters of Arts in Kinesiology with a specialization in coaching in April 2015. She also received a Bachelor of Education in Intermediate/Senior Family Studies and General Science in May 2013 and graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development in May 2012.
Ardito photo by Sam Rubin, Yale Sports Publicity
Mazzotta photo courtesy of Hockey Canada