Mike Letizia will be behind the bench as the Tomahawks head coach for his seventh season. Letizia, originally from Chicago, served as the team’s assistant coach during their first two seasons.
During his first season as head coach, six Tomahawks made commitments to NCAA Division 1 programs, with seven players also playing at the NCAA Division 3 level. In addition, the Tomahawks also had their first ever player drafted to the NHL, goaltender Ryan Bednard to the Florida Panthers. In his second season as head coach, the Tomahawks set franchise highs for points, wins, and goals scored. The team also captured its first playoff series victory in team history. Another major highlight of Coach Letizia’s second season as head coach was a team record 17 NCAA commitments.
In 2016-2017, Letizia’s third season as head coach, the team once again set franchise highs in wins (40), point total (84), and goals scored (204). Additionally, a league high 7 players attended the NAHL’s Top Prospects Event with Letizia serving as Assistant Coach of the East Division team, and 5 Tomahawks players received NCAA Division 1 commitments during the season. In 2017-2018, 3 players received NCAA Division 1 commitments.
In 2018-2019, Letizia led the Tomahawks to the best season in franchise history. 8 players received NCAA Division 1 commitments. He was selected as the Head Coach for the East Division at the NAHL’s Top Prospects event. The Tomahawks captured their first East Division Regular Season title and also won the NAHL’s President’s Trophy as Regular Season champions with an overall record of 47-9-4 for 98 points. This set franchise highs for wins and points. At the conclusion of the Regular Season, Letizia was chosen as the East Division Coach of the Year and GM of the Year. The Tomahawks won the East Division Playoff Championship advancing to the Robertson Cup Championship for the first time in team history. Letizia was recognized as the 2018-2019 NAHL’s Coach of the Year.
In 2019-2020, the Tomahawks once again compiled a strong season finishing with a record of 34-13-2-2 in 51 games before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Away from the ice, Letizia participated as an ambassador in the Real Men Wear Pink campaign to help raise support and awareness in the fight against breast cancer. At the conclusion of his October campaign, he raised over $10,000 for the American Cancer Society. During this season, Letizia was named as Assistant Coach of the East Division for the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. Additionally, several players received NCAA Division 1 and Division 3 commitments. Letizia recorded his 200th win as Head Coach in the final game of the shortened 2019-2020 season.At the conclusion of the shortened season, Letizia was named NAHL East Division Coach of the Year for the second straight season.
As a junior player, Letizia spent four seasons in the OHL with the Plymouth Whalers after being selected in the fourth round of the 2002 OHL Draft. He served as one of the team captains for two seasons. The defenseman signed his first professional contract with the Rockford Icehogs of the former United Hockey League. During his time there, Letizia won a Colonial Cup Championship in 2007.
Letizia currently resides in Somerset, PA with his wife Alana, their daughter Myla and son Niko.
ASSISTANT COACH / GOALIE COACH
Nick Mish enters his second season as a member of the Tomahawks coaching staff. Mish, originally from Johnstown, had a fantastic first season in the NAHL. Tomahawks’ goalies combined for the fewest goals against in the East Division. Additionally, both goalies won multiple East Division Star of the Week awards. David Tomeo was named to the NAHL East Division Top Prospects team, and rookie goaltender Alex Tracy was named as the East Division Goaltender of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and to the East Division 1st Team and All-Rookie Team.
Mish previously served as a scout with the Coquitlam Express in the BCHL. Mish currently serves as Founder of ETM Goaltending + Development, a goaltending school that began in Johnstown and has since expanded to cover parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, New York, and Alberta. As a junior player, Mish was drafted by the Erie Otters being selected in the thirteenth round of the 1999 OHL Draft. He previously spent time with Golden Rockets (BC) winning rookie of the year, and the Kimberly Dynamiters jr A in the now defunct rocky mountain junior hockey league.
Mish currently resides in Johnstown, PA with his fiancée Sara, and their son Easton.
Dave Dunkleberger is the team’s equipment manager. A Johnstown native, “Dunk” has worked his way up from being an equipment assistant with the former Johnstown Chiefs to becoming one of the most respected people in the North American Hockey League for the dedicated service he provides to the Tomahawks, as well as other members of the league while serving as the Head Equipment manager of the NAHL’s Top Prospects and Robertson Cup events for the past several years. In addition, Dunkleberger has been selected to be a member of the equipment staff for various USA Hockey events including the All American Top Prospects Game, the NTDP Evaluation Camp, and the Warren Strelow Goaltending Camp. A vital member to the hockey club, Dunk’s contributions go above and beyond what is asked of him as he provides a first class operation for players and staff.
Off-Ice Support Staff
Lucas Frey – Sweden/Finland
Chris Gragnano – New England
Dave Kosick – NAPHL/Pittsburgh Area
Yuri Krivokhija -NAPHL/Pittsburgh Area/Belarus
Joe Letizia – Chicago Area
Mike Nepsa – Western US
Sebastian Ragno – Mid-American/Central US
Jeremy Redquest- Ontario
CJ Stellabotte – Sweden/Finland
Rex Trott- Michigan
Equipment Support Staff