Penguins name Donatelli head coach

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that Clark Donatelli has been named head coach.

Donatelli becomes the 10th head coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton history after spending the last four seasons with the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL).

Jay Leach, who had been serving as interim head coach since Mike Sulllivan was promoted to Pittsburgh on Dec. 12, has been named associate coach. Leach led the Penguins to a 3-0-0-1 record in that time.

“Clark Donatelli brings a wealth of head coaching experience and has been with the organization for five years,” said Wilkes-Barre/Scranton general manager Jason Botterill. “Donatelli has helped develop 11 players in Wheeling that are currently on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton roster. Coach Donatelli and associate coach Jay Leach will make a dynamic team that will continue the path set by Mike Sullivan.”

Donatelli, 50, is Wheeling’s all-time leader in coaching wins, posting an overall record of 133-109-9-20. He is also the only coach in Nailers history to take the team to consecutive playoff appearances.

Donatelli served one season as the Nailers’ assistant coach before taking over as head coach mid season in 2011-12. In his five years total behind the bench for Wheeling, Donatelli’s teams qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs four times.

After three years playing at Boston University from 1984-87, Donatelli embarked on a seven-year pro hockey career that included 35 NHL games in which he put up three goals and three assists for six points. He also appeared in 57 AHL games with the Providence Bruins in 1992-93.

In addition to his pro hockey resume, Donatelli had extensive international experience. The native of Providence, R.I., represented the United States three times in the IIHF World Championships, captained Team USA in the 1985 World Junior Championship, and made the U.S. Olympic squad in 1988 and 1992, serving as team captain in ’92.