Vitucci stepping down as head coach of Toledo Walleye

Walleye head coach Nick Vitucci has announced he will resign immediately.

The Toledo Walleye will finish the season with a new leader after the announcement by current head coach Nick Vitucci that he is stepping down.

Vitucci, who has been in his position for the past five years, handed in his resignation Tuesday, effective immediately, according to Walleye President and General Manager Joe Napoli.

"I have enjoyed my time coaching the Walleye," Vitucci said in a statement. "It has been extremely fulfilling to start a new team and to mentor young hockey players who have a passion for the game, but I feel that it's time for some new leadership and a new approach."

Toledo's ECHL affiliate for the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks became the Walleye after ending their run as the Storm in 2009.

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Walleye assistant coach Dan Watson will take over as head coach for the remainder of the season.

As for Vitucci, he will assume a new role within the Walleye organization. "This will always be a highlight in my career," said Vitucci.

â??Nick has been a valuable team builder, mentor and colleague,â?? Napoli said. â??I have been honored to work with him as head coach in developing the Toledo Walleye. But heâ??s ready to try other options and I â?? we â?? support him in his decision. Nickâ??s decision to make this move now, gives us the appropriate window to find a coaching replacement in time for recruiting and preparing for next season. I am happy to say that he will remain with the Walleye organization. His future role, which is yet to be finalized, will capitalize on his nearly 25 years of professional hockey experience.â??