The Topeka RoadRunners are excited to welcome a new face to the organization.
Justin DeMartino, 26, joins the organization as an assistant coach, where he will support head coach Josh Kamrass on the bench for the 2017-2018 regular season.
DeMartino, who hails from Macomb, Mi., recently completed a year of volunteer coaching work with the Ferris State University hockey team, where he also played four years as a right wing from 2010-2014.
He notched 12 goals and 25 assists in his collegiate career and is excited to get started in Topeka.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity,” DeMartino said. “I’ve wanted to coach here after learning more about the organization the last couple of seasons. After volunteering this past season, it made me want to coach even more, and I was so thankful for Topeka to give me this opportunity.”
Kamrass reiterated how ecstatic he was for his new assistant coach.
“Justin has been under some great mentors and staff at Ferris State, so we’re pretty excited about him getting started here,” Kamrass said.
DeMartino is no stranger to the junior hockey level, having played in the United States Hockey League and the North American Hockey League before college. He also played for the Little Caesars U18 and U16 teams in Michigan.
“Playing the junior hockey landscape as well as collegiate hockey has given me some common ground with the coaching staff and players, and hopefully will allow me to educate our guys on what it takes to get to the next level,” DeMartino said.
He even played with and against previous RoadRunners in his collegiate and junior tenures. Former RoadRunners Tyler Andrew, Dominic Lutz and Jasen Fernsler all played for the Bulldogs last year.
“For this past year at Ferris State, I coached three different players who were part of the Topeka organization,” DeMartino said. “Hockey is a very small and tight knit community.”
Former RoadRunners forward Tommy Hill was instrumental in connecting DeMartino and Kamrass, as Hill is now the Director of Hockey Operations at Miami-Ohio and informed DeMartino about Kamrass’ need for an assistant coach.
The two of them then officially met while in Florida at a coaching convention and Kamrass said he’s eager to get working.
“All the experiences I’ve had and the people who’ve helped me learn, I appreciate it all, and I’m hopeful I can share that knowledge with Justin,” Kamrass said. “His motivation and drive to succeed will give him a chance to grow at this level.”
DeMartino will join the organization officially as of July 1 and will participate in the team’s main camp July 6-9.
“I will be at main camp, and I’m looking forward to meeting some of the returners from last year, as well as connecting with prospects for this season,” DeMartino said.