George Tarantino takes over the reigns for the Men’s Senior GM Division. Comments from the community are included as well as from George himself…

Winchendon, MA 11/22/13 — ASHI General Manager Chris Banks announced today that George Tarantino of Lancaster, PA accepted the Men’s Division General Manager position.  “I’m very honored to join the ASHI team and look forward to building the men’s team for the next World Championships. In my opinion, with this position comes a responsibility to the sport in the USA to put together a top notch program. I’ve known Chris Banks for several years and when he and I discussed what the GM position needed, I was truly flattered he thought highly enough of me to offer me this position.  This is a fantastic opportunity.  We have a lot of work to do but I’m anxious to get started.  I have a lot of respect for the people I will be working with, and feel it’s the beginning of a good relationship.” said Mr. Tarantino.

Men’s Masters Division GM Jamie Cooke offered this when asked for comment – “George probably knows the players and their games at the national level better than anyone in our sport at this point in our history. He understands the game both from the personnel and X’s and O’s sides.  He understands people and will be able to fit in well.”

“George has been involved in international events that will assist him in his GM responsibilities. He has been to the Caribbean, Canada and Europe for events.  He has coached and run his own event every year for several years, and also played for USA National teams.  George has everything ASHI is looking for in a GM. I wish him and the Men’s Senior team nothing but the best.”

Said ASHI General Manager Chris Banks – “We selected George simply because there is nobody more dialed into the sport in the Men’s Division than George is.  A true ambassador of the sport, the man has coached or played in 23 tournaments in the last calendar year.  George knows, understands and believes in the path we are on.  There is simply nobody I have met in the sport more qualified.  George was the last of the 4 Division General Managers to commit to the vision which makes ASHI 4 for 4.  These 4 were our #1 draft picks for the roles of GM so to speak for each division.  Talk about an All-Star team!”

Mr. Tarantino was asked what he saw when he surveyed the Men’s Division landscape.

“Our opponents are extremely talented, and play the game in a bit of a different manner than we are used to in our tournaments here in the USA.  Building a team that can excel at this level, against these types of teams, is an incredible challenge, but one i am looking forward to tackling.

“People ask me for my opinion as to why America hasn’t won gold.  As a competitor, I tend to give credit to the victor.  The teams at this level are, quite simply, incredible. The USA, to date, has sent some pretty talented teams to the Men’s World Championships, and they have performed well but come up short of the gold.  Obtaining gold in one of these tournaments is a daunting task, even for the traditional powerhouses.

Reaction to the GM position being filled very early after the last tournament has concluded has been very positive from the community.

Several former Team USA players were excited to learn George is the next General Manager.  All stated that they believe George has a unique ability to motivate people and that his knowledge of the game will give the American squad every opportunity to win.

“We really want to win gold.  We feel like we have the talent to do it but we haven’t been able to get it done.  All of the players are tired of coming back empty handed.  Having George run the program is going to give us such a boost because he is so respected.  People will want to play hard for George.  ” said one player who asked to remain anonymous.

George was also asked what he thinks the United States needs to win the gold medal at the next ISBHF World Championship.

“The coaching staff and I need to build a high character, self-less team that we feel matches up with our opponents’ strengths and weaknesses at the World Championships. Getting the team properly prepared for the specific situations and style of play they will see at this event is important. Turning a group of individuals into a machine-like unit is the key to team sports, and more important than individual talent.”

Finally, George was asked what players in the USA looking to make the roster can do to make the team.

“To all those who have a desire to make the team, the coaching staff and I offer the following advice: show up to all the tournaments you can, in shape, and focused on doing all you can for your team.  Carry yourself like an individual who you yourself would want to play with, both on the rink and in the locker room.  Playing for your country is a great honor, and i wish you all the best.”