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Jeff Giuliano goes back to school

New Hampshire Union Leader

July 14. 2018 8:56PM

New UNH assistant coach Jeff Giuliano spent three years as an assistant with the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL. 

Jeff Giuliano reached three Frozen Fours and won the 2001 national championship but he never once left the Whittemore Center victorious during his career at Boston College.

Now as an assistant coach with the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team, the Nashua native wants to experience as many victories in his new home arena as possible.

UNH announced Giuliano as an addition to coach Mike Souza's staff last Tuesday. Giuliano will be in charge of the Wildcats' defensemen and penalty-kill unit, which were his same responsibilities as an assistant coach for the Manchester Monarchs the past three ECHL seasons.

The Monarchs finished with the No. 7 penalty-kill percentage in the league (.847) and allowed 2.9 goals per game last regular season.

UNH owned the fourth-best penalty-kill percentage in the nation (.874) and finished sixth in Hockey East in goals allowed (104) last year.

"I've always said I'd love to coach college hockey..I just didn't know if I'd get that opportunity," Giuliano said. "When Mike came calling, I was super excited."

Giuliano said Souza called him asking if he would be interested in an assistant coaching job at UNH about four weeks ago. In his first interview for the position, Giuliano talked with Souza for five hours. When Giuliano left the Durham campus, the former Eagles captain knew he wanted to be a Wildcat.

Giuliano, who played high school hockey at St. Paul's School in Concord, waited by the phone daily following his interview with Souza. Eventually, the phone rang and Souza explained he wanted Giuliano to meet with UNH athletics director Marty Scarano.

After meeting with Scarano, Giuliano and Souza walked back from the Whittemore Center to the fieldhouse. During that walk, Souza offered Giuliano the job.

"There's just something about this place," Giuliano said. "I can't put my finger on it right now but the connection I had when I came up here, I just wanted to be here and now that I'm here, it's great and I'm so excited."

Giuliano brings 13 years of experience as a professional player - he spent part of six seasons with the AHL Monarchs and played 101 games for the Los Angeles Kings - in addition to what he learned during his time at Boston College. He is looking forward to being a mentor to his new players the same way the Eagles coaches were to him.

"They completely changed me as a player and as a person," Giuliano said of his BC coaches. "For me to be able to do that and have the opportunity to do that here, I'm super thrilled and I want to give back to these kids and give them everything I was given and learned over my 13 years pro and four years in college."

Despite the change in level of play, Giuliano's coaching approach at UNH will be the same as it was with the Monarchs. Giuliano wants to be a great communicator and said he will bring plenty of energy and work ethic to the rink each day.

"That's what allowed me to have a 13-year pro career. It's the same approach I have to coaching," Giuliano said. "I'm always energetic, I'm always upbeat and I put in the work.

"I'm here for the players - to give them everything they need to succeed on the ice and off the ice."

There is one lesson Giuliano learned over his playing and coaching career that he is eager to pass along to the Wildcats roster: the importance of staying even keel.

"I definitely want to help these kids with if we score a big goal or give up a big goal, you've got to stay in the present," Giuliano said. "That's one thing I learned from (longtime BC coach) Jerry York and it's kind of the way I've approached it with every game, every shift, every practice."

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