Business as usual as Detroit C.C. wins state title with yet another new coach

Hockey   | Jeff Dullack

Business as usual as Detroit C.C. wins state title with yet another new coach

(PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Donoher)


Plymouth – It’s often difficult for a team to keep any level of consistency when they go through a coaching change.

Teams are faced with the challenge of playing in a new system along with needing to replace players from a previous season.

Detroit Catholic Central has had three different coaches in each of the last three years and has continued to be a model of consistency in hockey.

Todd Johnson stepped down as head coach at the end of the 2013 season, a season that saw the Shamrocks lose in the Division 1 final. Catholic Central entered Saturday looking to win its third straight state title, this time under first-year coach Brandon Kaleniecki.

The Shamrocks defeated Brighton, 3-0, on Saturday at USA Hockey Arena giving Catholic Central three consecutive titles with three different coaches.

Senior Nick Macari has played on all three championship teams and said that the family environment that is Catholic Central hockey has been a key to the team’s success over the years.

“The three years I’ve been on this team, we’ve just come together as a family, (for) everybody, all of the kids and all of the coaches,” he said. “It’s been great and that’s what we think is a key to success. Being a close team, we can’t have small groups of people within the team. If we’re all together as a family, we’re going to have the success that we want.”

Two years ago, coming off of a state finals loss to Brighton, Johnson, who had helped guide the Shamrocks to five Division 1 titles, stepped down as head coach, citing family responsibilities.

That left athletic director Aaron Babicz with big shoes to fill.

But from what Babicz has seen over the last few years, the teams haven’t had that tough of a time adjusting to new coaches from year to year.

“I honestly don’t think it’s been that difficult,” he said. “With our guys, it’s tough because they’re big on welcoming coaches as part of the family and the relationship building aspect is the toughest part, but by the grace of God they pull together and it’s all about them and the kids rally around each other. They