Former Chaska/Chanhassen head girls hockey coach Tracy Cassano is back in the west metro.
After leading Burnsville the last five seasons, including a state tournament bid in 2014, the former University of Minnesota women's hockey captain was named Minnetonka's new coach April 29.
Cassano has spent the past 16 years coaching and inspiring young women to athletic success, said Minnetonka Activities Director Ted Schultz.
Cassano was head coach with Rosemount for five years before leading Chaska/Chanhassen for two seasons, including a section championship appearance in 2012; the program's last finals appearance.
She was also head coach for Minnesota Advanced 16 Final 54 from 2008-2011. Cassano has been a USA Hockey regional scout, has coached at USA Hockey National Camp, was head coach for Minnetonka Hockey Advance 15’s Camp and was head evaluation coordinator for USA/Minnesota Hockey.
Cassano was named the 2014 Minnesota Girls’ Hockey State AA Coach of the year. She has also received three Section 3AA and 2AA “Excellence in Coaching” awards and has been named “Section Coach of the Year” three times.
As a hockey player at the University of Minnesota, Cassano served as captain from 2000-2002 and led her team to become national champions in 2000. She made the WCHA All-Star Team, earned WCHA League and Tournament championships, and was WCHA Athlete of the Week.
"Tracy Cassano is an exceptional coach and a true leader," Schultz said. "She has demonstrated expertise and knowledge on the ice while nurturing positive relationship off the ice with her student athletes, we are very excited to have Coach Cassano on board!"
Cassano replaces Eric Johnson who served as Minnetonka varsity girls hockey team for the past 15 years. Johnson retired after this past season after leading the team to three state titles, one runner-up and one third-place finish.
Cassano earned a master of education degree in applied kinesiology and a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a minor in coaching at the University of Minnesota. She also holds a teaching licensure in K-12 health education from Mankato State University and a K-12 principal licensure from Hamline University.