June 15, 2011

Eddie Ardito Promoted to Assistant Coach

Was Volunteer Assistant for Bulldogs in 2010-11

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Eddie Ardito, who served as volunteer assistant last season, has been promoted to assistant coach for the Yale women's ice hockey team. He played for Yale's head coach, Joakim Flygh, at New England College.

"We are excited and fortunate to be able to add Eddie to our coaching staff on a full-time basis," Flygh said. "Eddie's enthusiasm for Yale Hockey is infectious, and the players respond to the energy that he brings to the rink every day. Eddie is dedicated to helping our program reach the next level."

Flygh, a 2000 graduate of New England College, was an assistant coach when Ardito played there.

A native of Branford, Conn., Ardito was a three-time all-state and All-Southern Connecticut Conference selection for Branford High's ice hockey team. He was also a three-time MVP and two-time captain, and was a two-time All-SCC selection for the football team as well.

Ardito received a B.A. in sport & recreation management: athletic administration with a minor in coaching from New England College in 2006. He started his career as a forward for the Pilgrims and later served as student assistant coach.

After graduating, Ardito spent a season as the interim head coach of New England College's women's ice hockey team, leading the team to a 12-6-1 conference record and the semifinals of the ECAC East Tournament. He simultaneously served as the head junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach for the men's team, which went 13-5-1 in the conference and advanced to the ECAC East Championship game.

In addition to his time with New England's hockey teams, Ardito also served as a volunteer assistant baseball coach for the Pilgrims in 2007.

Ardito was assistant coach and director of hockey operations for Connecticut College's men's ice hockey team from 2007 through 2010. The Camels made a pair of NESCAC quarterfinal appearances in his time with them.

Ardito and fellow Yale assistant coach Jessica Koizumi were Flygh's first two hires after taking over as head coach prior to the 2010-11 season. The Bulldogs showed many signs of progress on the ice under their new leaders, and they were one of three finalists for ECAC Hockey's SKOR Sports Trophy, recognizing the team that exemplifies sportsmanship, tenacity, commitment and innovation. They were in contention for an ECAC Hockey playoff spot until the final game of the year, and increased their goal total in conference games by 17 percent over the previous season (from 36 to 42). Yale was one of the least-penalized teams in the conference (8.1 penalty minutes per game) and did not incur a major penalty all season.

In addition to their sportsmanship on the ice, the Bulldogs were extremely active in the community. They rallied behind their teammate Mandi Schwartz in her battle with cancer, organizing numerous events to raise awareness of the need for marrow donors and umbilical cord blood donors for patients like Mandi with life-threatening illnesses. The team also began the "Bulldog Buddies" program with Yale-New Haven Hospital, adopting a local nine-year-old girl, Giana, who is recovering from surgery for a brain tumor.

Ardito has worked multiple ice hockey camps, including National Hockey Training. He has also worked as a trainer at Bluestreak Sports Training Center in Stamford, Conn.

Off the ice, Ardito has volunteered with Special Olympics and Buddy Walk for children with Down Syndrome.

"It's an honor to be selected as the next assistant coach and to continue the great tradition that is Yale Women's Ice Hockey," Ardito said. "After serving as a volunteer under Coach Flygh along with Coach Koizumi and getting to know the program's ins and outs, I'm looking forward to building off last year. I would also like to thank [men's hockey head coach] Tom Carroll at New England College and [men's hockey head coach] Jim Ward at Connecticut College for helping me get to where I am today."

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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