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March 12, 2001

Mike Bonelli steps down as head coach

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - After three years as head coach, Mike Bonelli has stepped down as Plymouth State College ice hockey coach.

Bonelli, who also served as assistant coach at PSC for one season before taking over the head position prior to the 1998-99 season, is leaving for financial reasons.

"I've enjoyed my time at Plymouth State," said Bonelli. "This decision was difficult because of the relationships I've built here for four years, but having this position as a part-time coach is not conducive to what I want to do with my career. It has nothing to do with our record or the kids or the school. There are no hard feelings, it's just time for me to move on."

Bonelli led the Panthers to a 23-44-3 record in his three years, including a 4-20-1 mark this past season. PSC qualified for the ECAC post-season tournament in Bonelli's first year.

"Things are in place for PSC to be a successful program," said Bonelli. "That's the reason I stayed here for four years as a part-time coach. Many of the positive qualities that we talk to kids about coming here - that's the reason I stayed as long as I did. But I just couldn't do it financially."

A 1993 graduate of New England College, Bonelli indicated he has no definite plans for the future, but he is likely to return to his native New York.

"I would like to thank Mike for his efforts and his hard work," said PSC interim athletic director John P. Clark. "He worked extremely hard in what is a very difficult position. We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors."

Clark indicated the search for a new coach will begin soon.

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