After practice on March 7, Tony Dore announced he was stepping down as interim head coach of the Cleveland Crunch. His stepping down as interim coach does not mean he will not have a future impact on the Crunch as he will remain as an advisor to the club regarding its soccer and business decisions.
The former Crunch player’s initial involvement with the team resulted in his company, UN1TUS, signing an agreement with the club to become its uniform and apparel provider. However, Dore agreed to take on the role as interim head coach back in December in order to help with the roster selection while setting the table for the team’s next head coach. This gave the organization valuable time to do its due diligence as it searched for the right individual to lead the club in the seasons to come. When announcing his departure, Dore said,
“It has been an honor to serve the Cleveland Crunch organization in varying capacities over the past few months. Being on the field with the talented group of men we have been able to assemble representing the Crunch brought back some great memories and some new ones that will surely last a lifetime. Most importantly, I have developed a great relationship with a new ownership group and team. I hope to be able to continue to bring value to the organization each year as the organization grows and flourishes in our rich Cleveland soccer community. Special thank you to Eric Davis and Luciano Ruscitto for trusting me in the critical and early stages of the rebirth of Cleveland Crunch.”*
In thanking Coach Dore for his time and service, owner Eric Davis stated,
“Tony is a tremendous asset to the Crunch and plays a big role in why we’ve grown to where we are at today, more than what most people know. I admire Tony’s professionalism and willingness to spearhead the interim head coach position. The guys will miss him on the pitch but as a whole, we all support and respect the decision Tony made. The rapport established with Tony throughout our short time has grown to a friendship beyond business. I look forward to growing our business operations together with the UN1TUS brand for many years to come.”
Vice president Luciano Ruscitto spoke in that same vein as Davis when he said,
“On behalf of myself and the entire Cleveland Crunch organization, we cannot thank Tony enough for his time and commitment towards serving as the team’s interim head coach. His willingness to step in and assume the responsibilities of this role, despite having minimal time to commit, truly defines Tony’s character. The support he has shown us throughout this process is unmatched and the relationships he has built with everyone involved with the organization has been nothing short of positive. We are pleased to be able to continue working closely with Tony and have his support as an advisor to the organization.”
The Crunch are excited to announce Louis Kastelic as the next head coach. Although only 34-years-old, Kastelic brings a wealth of experience as both a player and a coach.
As a player, he suited up for John Carroll University (JCU) from 2005-08. While there, Kastelic helped the team win the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) championship in 2005 and 2007 and make two appearances in the NCAA Tournament. He scored 16 goals (6 were game-winners) while assisting on 28 others. Those 28 assists rank third all-time in the school’s history. He also is tied for most assists in a game with four. ¹
Moving to indoor, Kastelic played for both the Cleveland Freeze (2013-14) and the Ohio Vortex (2012-13), both of the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL). Over the course of 25 games split between the two clubs, he scored nine goals and dished out eight assists. ²
Louis Kastelic has been successful wherever he has coached. He was the assistant coach at Aurora High School from 2009-10, helping to lead the school to a 15-2-2 record while winning the district championship and reaching the regional semifinals. Kastelic moved on to his alma mater to serve as an assistant coach under Hector Marinaro for seven seasons (2011-18). During his tenure, JCU made two NCAA Tournament appearances, won the OAC Tournament (2016) and won two OAC regular-season championships (2014 and 2016). Kastelic also served as the reserve team’s head coach.³ Kastelic is no stranger to coaching indoor soccer as he coached the Cleveland Legacy during its only year in existence (2016-17), leading the team to a 5-1-2 record.
The Kastelic-led Crunch will play a two-game set against the visiting Colorado Inferno FC this weekend at the Soccer Sportsplex. Although he does not have a lot of time to prepare for this opening game, his resume should fill Crunch fans with confidence that the Crunch will be ready. The club is going to do whatever it can to ensure that his tenure is long and very successful.
*Quotes come from the Crunch’s press release.
¹ https://jcusports.com/sports/mens-soccer/roster/coaches/louis-kastelic/430, accessed on 3/17/21.
²https://www.statscrew.com/soccer/stats/p-kastelou001, accessed on 3/17/21.
³ https://jcusports.com/sports/mens-soccer/roster/coaches/louis-kastelic/430, accessed on 3/17/21.