Renegades restructure, bring on Imonti as new director
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Some people see the word “restructuring” as one that has a negative connotation.
The West Coast Renegades (WCR) AAA youth organization sees it as a fresh start with fresh ideas and a new set of goals.
Recently, the Renegades hired David Imonti as the program’s new hockey director. Imonti is currently a partner with 37 Hockey, an agency that he co-founded that represents hockey players and coaches throughout the world.
Imonti, working with Renegades’ attorney and director of business operations Fred Wilner, was responsible for bringing Kevin McClelland to the organization to coach the 16U AAA and 18U AAA teams this season. Wilner is also former president of the Utah Amateur Hockey Association.
“We are all excited about the next phase of development for WCR,” Wilner said. “When David Imonti and I spoke to Joe D’Urso last summer, it was immediately clear we all share the passion and see the potential for hockey growth in Utah. In the coming months, we will expand our joint ventures with other local Utah hockey organizations.”
This season, the Renegades will roster all of the Cedar City teams and mentor them toward becoming their own affiliated organizations.
In his role, Imonti will be responsible for all of the hockey operations, including working with the coaching staff, helping to bring in players and most importantly, helping to place the players into higher level hockey programs when they are ready to leave the Renegades.
“I think the main attraction to the Renegades for me was the amount of potential the organization has,” said Imonti. “From the coaching staff, to our facilities, to the support staff put in place by (owners) Joe and Lisa D’Urso, everything has been put in place to make the Renegades one of the best clubs in the country, and it’s my goal to make strides towards realizing that potential in the coming years.”
Originally from San Diego, Imonti came to Utah in 2003 to play at Weber State University. After graduating in 2007, he played professionally in North America and Europe before returning to Utah to marry his wife, Brooke, in 2009. From 2011-13, Imonti was an assistant coach with the Western States Hockey League’s Ogden Mustangs.
Prior to naming Imonti to his post, the Renegades announced “with great regret and sadness” that former director of operations Adam Bartholomay has left the organization.
“Adam has been with WCR from the very start and was integral in helping us bring the opportunities for good Tier I hockey to Utah,” said Joe D’Urso. “Lisa and I have often referred to Adam as a nephew or family member. We admire his zeal, enthusiasm, hard work and big personality. As such, this portion of our organizational changes were extraordinarily difﬁcult and not done without a lot of deep thought, consideration and prayer.”
With Imonti, he gets wide-eyed when thinking about the growth potential for the game in Utah.
“You’re starting to see some players from Utah play at the professional, NCAA, and junior levels, which shows the potential within the state’s existing player pool,” explained Imonti. “In my opinion, I think getting kids to stick with hockey is the key to growing the sport within the state, especially during the transition from Bantam to Midget hockey.”
Imonti said he also wants to create scholarship programs, as well as a mentorship program between the Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget age groups and those players from Utah who have advanced to higher levels in hopes of offering some guidance and motivation for those who might be questioning their future in the sport.
“I think if we stick to the plan and continue to put the right pieces in place, the rest will take care of itself,” said Imonti. “With all we offer, I really think there is no comparison and those involved with hockey within the state will soon realize the same.”
— Matt Mackinder