Insalaco enters his 19th season as a coach and 13th year with the program in 2020-21.
“Dave’s hard work has not gone unnoticed and this title represents his loyalty to the program,” said RIT Head Coach Wayne Wilson. “Dave’s knowledge of the game has been instrumental through the years, helping RIT reach the Frozen Four during three NCAA Tournament appearances, while winning three Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) Championships and four regular season titles.”
Insalaco’s duties include overseeing the Tiger defenseman and penalty killing efforts. He most recently mentored Adam Brubacher (Elmira, Ontario/Powell River Kings), who graduated in May a two-time Atlantic Hockey All-Star and was one of only six defenseman in the nation over the last four years to eclipse the 100-point plateau.
Continued Wilson, “Dave’s work with our defenseman over the years has led to numerous all league selections, highlighted by current Vancover Canucks assistant Captain Chris Tanev, who was named Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Year and an All-Tournament Team member during our 2010 Frozen Four run. He has a great hockey mind and, with his work ethic, will be a great head coach at some point down the road.”
“I am truly appreciative of the opportunity provided to me by Wayne Wilson, (Executive Athletic Director) Lou Spiottiand (Senior VP for Student Affairs) Dr. Sandy Johnson,” Insalaco said. “As a kid growing up in Rochester who attended his first hockey school at RIT, it has been a dream come true to coach here. It has been a remarkable 12 seasons and I am proud of what our staff has built in such a short period of time. I am excited for the start of the season and I look forward to helping facilitate our program’s continued success.”
In 2009, 2011, and 2012, Insalaco coached at the USA Hockey Select Under-17 and Under-16 Development camps in Rochester with several of the nation’s top collegiate coaches and was tapped to coach in the 2011 Select 17 All-Star game. Insalaco also served as a guest coach for the Washington Capitals prospect development camps prior to their Stanley Cup in 2018.
Insalaco’s arrival at RIT coincided with one of the winningest stretches in program history. The 2008-09 season saw the Tigers finish with a 23-13-2 record to clinch the second seed for the Atlantic Hockey Tournament. The following year, the Tigers won their first Atlantic Hockey Championship and made its Cinderella run to the Frozen Four to finish with a program-record 28-12-1 mark.
Insalaco came to RIT after spending two seasons (2005-07) with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League, including half a season as head coach and general manager. During his tenure with the Gamblers, he coached several players who went on to standout RIT careers, including Cameron Burt, Taylor McReynolds, Sean Murphy and Chris Saracino. He also coached defenseman Derrick LaPoint, who was a 2006 draftee of the Florida Panthers.
Insalaco spent the previous three seasons as assistant coach at SUNY Geneseo (2003-05), including two under current RIT Associate Head Coach Brian Hills. Insalaco helped guide the Knights to a 51-23-11 record, including back-to-back State University of New York Athletic Conference Championships and NCAA Division III Tournament berths in 2005 and 2006. Insalaco’s first coaching stint came as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater, SUNY Brockport, during the 2002-03 campaign.
Graduating with an education degree in 2000, Insalaco closed his career tied for seventh in Golden Eagle history with 47 goals and 10th with 109 points. The standout left winger punctuated his career with All-SUNYAC Second Team honors while also winning Chase Memorial Academic Athletic Scholarship recognition.
Insalaco played two years of professional hockey for the Adirondack IceHawks of the United Hockey League from 2000-02, recording 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) in 128 career appearances. He was voted both the “Unsung Hero” and “110 Percent” Award winner by the fans after the IceHawks won the Northeast Division title his first season.
Insalaco also earned a master’s degree in education from Brockport. The Greece, N.Y. native currently lives in Fairport, N.Y. with his wife, Erika, and children, David and Clare.
Insalaco’s sister, Kim, was a member of the 2006 United States Women’s Olympic Hockey Team which earned a bronze medal in Turin, Italy.