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De La Salle hockey taps successor for retired coach Barry

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published May 16, 2016

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WARREN — New Warren De La Salle hockey coach Craig Staskowski is no stranger to Macomb County pucks.

Staskowski, who comes to the Pilots after five years with the Rochester United program, coached at Utica High for the 2010-11 season.

In all, Staskowski has 12 years of coaching experience, including two years at Grosse Pointe North from 2008 to 2010. He also spent time coaching Warren-Sterling United and St. Clair Shores Unified.

Staskowski, a Sterling Heights native, was on a Grosse Pointe North staff that led the team to the 2009 Division 1 state semifinals.

“I am truly honored for the opportunity to join the De La Salle family,” Staskowski said in a statement. “I look forward to running a program at De La Salle that strives for excellence on the ice, in the classroom and in the community.”

Staskowski comes to De La Salle with a solid résumé.

In his time with Rochester United, Staskowski amassed a 110-69-14 record — good for a .570 win percentage. The  Macomb Township resident also led Rochester United to four consecutive Oakland Activities Association Red Division titles.

De La Salle Athletic Director Brian Kelly said he and school officials are thrilled to have Staskowski as part of the program.

“(Staskowski’s) passion for teaching the game of hockey at the high school level is exemplary,” Kelly said. “He has been a student of the game and has worked alongside of and learned from some of the best (coaches) in the game.”

Staskowski takes over for Dan Barry, who retired after 13 years as coach at De La Salle and 19 years overall. Barry, who started at De La Salle in 2002, informed Kelly of his decision to retire shortly after the team’s season ended in an 8-3 March 5 Division 3 regional final loss to Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood.

Before joining De La Salle, Barry coached at Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett for six seasons. He recorded his 300th career win in his last season. Barry, who led the team to state semifinal appearances in 2010 and 2014, won 65 percent of his games while with the Pilots.

Kelly praised Barry upon his retirement, citing the coach’s strong leadership and organization. The De La Salle AD thanked Barry for turning the program into a strong one.

Staskowski, a social studies teacher at Warren Woods Middle School who earned a degree in social studies from Oakland University, enters the program with more than 20 years of experience as a hockey official at several levels. He currently serves as vice president of the Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association.

Staskowski is excited about the new opportunity. He said he couldn’t have done it alone, though.

“I have been blessed to be surrounded by so many people who have helped and supported me along the way,” Staskowski said. “I have to give a special thanks to all of my former players for their commitment and effort.”

Practice for the 2016-17 season begins Oct. 31. The regular season begins Nov. 14.

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