Mike Letizia is behind the bench as the Tomahawk’s head coach for his tenth 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, in 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.
During the 2020-2021 season, Letizia once again led the Tomahawks to the East Division Regular season title compiling a record of 39-10-5 for 83 points and a .769 Win Percentage. Once again, several Tomahawk players made NCAA Division 1 and Division 3 commitments. At the conclusion of the Regular Season, Letizia was named the East Division Coach of the Year for the third straight season.
In the 2021-2022 season, the Tomahawks once again built a strong campaign under Letizia finishing with a 34-20-6 record finishing 8th overall in the NAHL. Another 7 Tomahawks made NCAA Division 1 commitments, including 2 that joined NCAA programs mid-season. Multiple other players committed to NCAA Division 3 schools.
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.
Nick Mish is stepping into the role of Assistant Coach for the Johnstown Tomahawks during the upcoming 2023-2024 season. His journey with the team began as their dedicated goaltending coach, and under his guidance, the Tomahawks’ netminders displayed exceptional performance, allowing the fewest goals in the East Division. This remarkable feat led to the recognition of Goalie Alex Tracy, who earned the title of East Division Goaltender of the Year after a standout season, and David Tomeo secured an NCAA Division 1 commitment to Sacred Heart University. Coach Mish played an integral part in nurturing and mentoring both goaltenders, fostering their growth throughout the season.
Coach Mish’s own hockey career is noteworthy, as he backstopped Bishop McCort to victory in the 1997 Penguins Cup during his freshman year. His journey subsequently took him to junior hockey in British Columbia, and he was even selected as a Draft Pick by the Ontario Hockey League’s Erie Otters.
Beyond his coaching role with the Johnstown Tomahawks, Nick is also the Owner and Founder of ETM Goaltending Development, where he continues to share his wealth of knowledge in goaltending. Additionally, he generously imparts his coaching expertise to various youth and prep programs in the Pittsburgh area and Mid-American District.
Nick resides in Brownstown with his wife Sara, their son Easton, and daughter Layla.
MANAGER, HOCKEY OPERATIONS, EQUIPMENT, & IN-GAME VIDEO
Dave Dunkleberger is set to take on a pivotal role as the Manager of Hockey Operations, Equipment, and In-Game Video for the upcoming 2023 – 2024 season with the team. Dave’s association with the organization traces back to the 2014-2015 season when he first joined Coach Letizia’s staff, establishing a lasting commitment to the team’s success.
On the ice, Dave showcased his talent during a remarkable four-season stint as the starting goalie for the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown. His outstanding skills earned him the privilege of being selected for two CHE All-Star Games, a testament to his exceptional performance in the net. Furthermore, Dave played a pivotal role in leading the Ice Cats to a memorable CHE championship victory during his senior year, securing a cherished trip to the ACHA National Tournament.
A proud alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, Dunkleberger currently resides in Johnstown, PA.
DIRECTOR OF SCOUTING
Chuck Linkenheld’s impressive coaching journey has seen him oversee more than 3000 games, predominantly at the U18/U16 AAA level, where he has consistently demonstrated his remarkable ability to identify, nurture, and cultivate young hockey talent. His coaching tenure includes notable stints with the Chicago Reapers, Chicago Mission, and Team Illinois, cementing his reputation as a premier figure in player development.
Notably, his influence has extended to the Junior Tier II level in the North American Hockey League (NAHL), where he served as both Head Coach and General Manager for two years. His visionary approach to team leadership and strategic player management contributed to the success and growth of his teams. Linkenheld’s involvement in scouting and player development has been equally impactful. He has lent his expertise to esteemed teams such as the Tri-City Storm (USHL), Waterloo (USHL), Austin (NAHL), and the International Scouting Service. His keen eye for identifying potential and nurturing emerging talents has proven invaluable to organizations seeking to bolster their ranks.
Throughout his career, Chuck has been a pillar of success, not only as a coach and scout but also as a leader in developing players for junior and college hockey. His dedication and acumen have paved the way for numerous athletes to make the transition to higher levels of play. The Illinois native’s own hockey journey began as a Division 1 player at Merrimack College, where he not only excelled on the ice but also served as the team captain, demonstrating his natural leadership qualities. His exceptional achievements have earned him a place in the AHAI Hockey Hall of Fame.
Beyond the rink, Chuck is supported by his wife Gina, and their five children.
Drew Doyon – Indiana
Chris Kaspar – Chicago Area
Jeff Green – Ohio/Mid Am
Nathan Ward – Minnesota
Tim Murphy – Rocky Mountain
Doug Condon – Denver Area
Magnus Ramstrom – Sweden
Mike MacGregor – Philadelphia
Jon Sorg – New Jersey
Bronson Sharp – Wisconsin Midget AAA/HS Level
Paul Pechmann – Wisconsin T3 Junior
Shane Bednard – Detroit
John Harwood – Boston/New England
Zach Mitchell – St. Louis
Boston Bradley – Boston U16 AAA & Power Prep Canada-USA Scout
Off-Ice Support Staff
MASSAGE REHABILITATION AND THERAPY
PA-LICENSED MASSAGE THERAPIST