PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ – The Arizona Sundogs announced today that head coach Marco Pietroniro and assistant coach Chris Bartolone have been relieved of their duties effective immediately. The team has named David Lohrei as its new head coach moving forward.
The Sundogs will hold a press conference on Monday at 4:00 PM to formally introduce Lohrei (LOH-rye) and answer questions regarding the change.
Pietroniro (pee-eh-troh-NEER-oh) was in the middle of his sixth season as head coach of the Arizona Sundogs – the only coach in franchise history. He won 164 games during his time behind the bench, including his 150th on October 22nd over Laredo by a 4-3 final. Pietroniro’s best season came in 2007-08, when he led the Sundogs to a 39-19-6 record and the Ray Miron President’s Cup Championship. His teams reached the playoffs in three of the five full seasons he spent with Arizona.
“Marco Pietroniro has provided the Sundogs organization with a lot of wonderful memories, and those memories will never be forgotten,” said General Manager Chris Presson. “The Sundogs would like to thank him for his effort and contributions in his six years here, and wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
Pietroniro was the longest tenured member of the Sundogs organization and one of the key figures in the franchise’s start-up in 2006.
Bartolone finished a 15-year pro career with the Sundogs from 2006-10 where he appeared in a franchise record 260 games. The veteran defenseman averaged nearly a point a game with 238 points in those appearances – 56 goals and 182 assists. He was the captain of the Sundogs championship team in 2007-08 and his #29 hangs in Tim’s Toyota Center after being retired. He took over as the team’s assistant coach for the past two seasons.
David Lohrei brings 12 years of head coaching experience to the Sundogs, including six at the professional level – three in the Central Hockey League. He was awarded the CHL’s Commissioner’s Trophy twice as the Coach of the Year in 1997-98 with the Nashville Ice Flyers and 1999-2000 with the Fayetteville Force.
Lohrei brings a track record of winning at the pro level with career record of 201-143-40 between the CHL and ECHL. He also coached for six seasons in the USHL with the Sioux City Musketeers. Lohrei has been serving as the owner and operator of Maximum Sports Performance in Madison, Wisconsin – an operation dedicated to training and improving the performance of athletes.
Lohrei will be behind the bench for the Sundogs in their Tuesday matchup against the Rapid City Rush at 7:05 PM MST at Tim’s Toyota Center.
The Arizona Sundogs are the Central Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes. Their sixth season is brought to you by Cliff Castle Casino-Hotel and the team will also host the 2012 CHL All-Star Game in January. Season tickets, mini-plan, and single-game ticket information is now available by calling (928) 759-6600 or visiting arizonasundogs.com.