June 8, 2007 PRINT Bookmark and Share

DelCastillo On Board in Fairbanks

CHN Staff Report

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Alaska-Fairbanks has brought in an assistant from a CCHA rival to be its new head coach.

Doc DelCastillo, an assistant at Nebraska-Omaha the past five seasons, was hired Thursday, replacing Tavis MacMillan, who stepped down in April. He is the seventh head coach in the program's 27-year history.

"My daughters were jumping up and down for five to 10 minutes. We were ecstatic," DelCastillo told the Fairbanks News-Miner. "My wife and (five) children have sacrificed for my coaching career, they've given up a lot.

"This was something we had discussed and we were anticipating that phone call."

MacMillan stepped down after three seasons to follow his wife to Minneapolis, where she received a good business opportunity.

DelCastillo, who was a finalist for the Alabama-Huntsville job that went to Danton Cole, was one of four finalists for this position. He beat out Alaska assistant coach Wade Klippenstein, Wisconsin assistant Kevin Patrick and St. Cloud State assistant Eric Rud.

Alaska-Fairbanks athletic director Forrest Karr said that DelCastillo's recruiting ability stood out.

"He has a history of elevating some Division I programs that are within Division II athletic departments, like we are," Karr told the paper. "He knows the challenges and he’s worked through the challenges and has been successful."

DelCastillo was a head coach in the USHL for three seasons, and has been an assistant at his alma mater, St. Cloud State.

The key for DelCastillo, as for any coach there, is selling the program.

"I would tell a junior player that the people there (Fairbanks) are passionate about the program," he said to the News-Miner, "and it's a great place to be a student-athlete."

Senior defenseman T.J. Campbell said he was impressed with DelCastillo immediately. "He seemed as if he was preparing for this moment for a while," Campbell said to the News-Miner. "If you look at his resume, he has a lot of experience in a lot of places; but even with the talk he gave to us, he knew exactly what was going on and what he was going to do if he received the position."

DelCastillo was a forward for St. Cloud State from 1988-92, and a co-captain as a senior.

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