By Steve Petrick
Ryerson’s hockey coach, Louie Carnevale, is considering quitting the team because he doesn’t have the time needed to fill the demanding position.
“I have no idea if I’ll be back next year,” Carnevale said the day after his season ended with a 3-1 loss to Laurentian Feb. 19.
Carnevale, who owns his own insurance and financial service business, is frustrated because the athletic department doesn’t consider his position a full-time job even though he spends more than 30 hours a week at the rink for practices and games and recruits constantly and throughout the year.
“There’s too much time that’s needed,” he said. “I think it’s something the school has to review.”
Because the hockey coach position is given part-time status, Carnevale’s salary is small compared to what basketball coaches make. A basketball head coach has full-time status and earns a salary more than $40,000. They also have assistant coaches to help them recruit. Carnevale would not comment on how much he makes but said he doesn’t coach for the money.
“I love coaching, but it’s all the other stuff that’s gotten to me,” he said.
In his six years behind the Rams’ bench Carnevale has turned the hockey team from pitiful to respectable, even though the team has never been in the playoffs.
Much of the team’s improvement has come because of recruiting efforts. When he took over the team in 1994 he had just 15 skaters. At the start of this year, 28 were on the roster.
Carnevale says he watches more than 60 Tier II hockey games a year on top of practices and games with his own team. He also spends time handling players’ concerns and problems.
“It’s almost like he has to be a father to some of the guy,” said Chris Sturino, a defenceman on the team.
Carnevale’s players describe his as a tough and demanding coach, but also as one they have a lot of respect for.
After the Rams lost their final two games and missed the playoffs, the players felt bad for the coach.
“The one person I feel the most for is Louie,”Rams’ right-winger Ryan Love said. “He probably wanted it more than anyone else.”
“We blew it,” centre Kirby Tokarski said. “I’m sure he’s wondering if it’s all worth it.”
But Tokarski thinks Carnevale will return if most of the players from this year come back.