Wilkes-Barre Miners hire Unger as head coach
May 15, 2015
The Wilkes-Barre Miners have hired Nick Unger as the team's new head coach beginning in the 2015-16 season.
Coach Unger comes to the Miners from the National Sports Academy (NSA) in Lake Placid, NY, where he served as Head Coach, Athletic Director and history teacher during his time with the Mountaineers. At NSA, Unger took a struggling program and changed the climate within the team, and the school as a whole. He developed many student-athletes into better hockey players while also helping them become independent and responsible young men. His efforts have helped many of his players move on to Junior “A” hockey, the NCAA, and CIS schools in Canada. He has coached players from all over the world including Canada, Sweden, Finland, China, Serbia, and Denmark.
Prior to NSA, Coach Unger served as the top assistant at The College at Brockport (SUNYAC, NCAA Div. III) from 2011-2014. While at Brockport, he helped rebuild a program that was struggling for wins and turned the program into a championship contender through strong recruiting and coaching techniques.
Before coaching at Brockport, Coach Unger was the top Assistant at Nichols College (ECAC Northeast, NCAA Div. III) from 2008-2011. Under the guidance of his mentor, Lou Izzi (HeadCoach), he helped build a national contender and conference champion. After 27 straight seasons of losing records, Nichols College was built into a powerhouse. In 2009, they won their first ECAC Northeast championship with a record of 25-4, Coach Unger was responsible for the defense, goaltenders and penalty kill. Coach Unger undertook much of the recruiting that lead to the team winning ECAC Northeast Championships in 2014 & 2015. Throughout his career in the NCAA, Coach Unger helped many players move on to continue their hockey career in leagues such as the SPHL, CHL, and FHL.
Nick was a standout goaltender that won New York State 1st team honors in high school while winning the Section V Championship and participating in the NYS Final Four. After high school, he went on to play Junior “A” hockey for the Buffalo Junior Lightning (renamed Sabres) in the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League (OPJHL, renamed OJHL). Following his junior career, he was recruited to Nichols College (ECAC Northeast, NCAA Div. III) where he played until he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, degree in 2008.
Nick and his fiancée, Sarah are getting married in Lake Placid this coming August and are excited to relocate to the Wilkes-Barre area this summer with their 2 year old chocolate lab, Ella.
Miners GM, Ray Welsh states “Coach Unger is well connected, with an outstanding reputation offering significant experience and achievements at both the NCAA and preparatory levels which will prove immeasurable to our program as well as our NA3EHL member teams as we transition over to USA Hockey. I am excited to have Nick onboard to further develop and promote our players as we strive to build an elite program.”