Glenn Detulleo To Exit As Head Coach Of Huntsville Havoc- Moving To Front Office Position
MADISON- “No time left for you on my way to better things as distant roads are calling me.” Those lyrics of the 1969 hit song by the rock band The Guess Who could best describe the journey of Huntsville Havoc head coach Glenn Detulleo who will retire from his coach position and move into the team’s front office as Executive General Manager once the current season is complete.
“The opportunity to transfer into a new role within the Havoc organization and the move will allow me to spend more time with my family,” said Detulleo. “The big part of being coach is having to travel. I love the idea of a new challenge and learn the other side of the business.”
Detulleo is in his 11th season as head coach as his final team skates into the SPHL first-round playoffs. He has carved out a 312-254-42 career record as the program’s fourth head coach. His teams won back-to-back SPHL Championships (2017-2018, 2018-2019) after being hired as head coach May 9, 2012. The Havoc finished this season in third place in the standings and will face the Knoxville Ice Bears in the first round of the playoffs. Opening game will be hosted by the Havoc on Thursday at the Huntsville Ice Sports Complex at 7:00 p.m. Game two will be held in Knoxville and a third game, if necessary of a three-game series, back in Huntsville on Sunday at 7:00 p.m.
Arriving in North Alabama as a player for the Havoc, he played two seasons, which encompassed 112 games where he scored 27 goals with 83 assists. Overall, he played nine seasons of professional hockey with over 700 matches played. He retired as a player on March 8, 2012 and took over the Havoc team as interim coach where his team was 2-2-1 before falling in the semi-finals of the post-season playoffs.
Once deciding to remain in North Alabama, Detulleo and his family chose to live in Madison. Today, he and his wife of 19 years, Jennifer, and their three children, Ebba, 16, Berlin, 15, and Benham, 11, remain as excited about the immediate area as they did more than a decade ago. Jennifer works as a loan officer. Ebba is a member of the Bob Jones High varsity soccer team while Berlin plays on the junior varsity squad.
The Detulleos purchased a lake-front house on Smith Lake near Cullman. Detulleo loves to play golf and fish, and with the work he and his family are putting into renovations of the lake house, fishing is easily becoming a more active hobby.
The native of Timmins, Ontario, Canada put on his first pair of ice skates at age four. He hasn’t changed the fact he still laces up his skates and is very active during practices with the Havoc. Detulleo understands the skates won’t be used as often once he makes his way to the front office utilizing his degree in sports management.
“This new position is right up my alley. A lot of times coaching is a small part of the head coach job as there’s so much more to it,” added Detulleo. “With my experience I believe I’ve deepened my toes in new areas. There’s no chance of getting away from hockey. I feel I will somehow always be involved in the sport. The new job is still connected to the sport and I will be engaged with the players in a different way.”
At age 45, Detulleo still feels as fresh with hockey as they day he started. He hopes in his new position he’ll be able to share his experiences and offer advice to players and coaches including how to be safe on the ice. “In one my first practices as a coach a puck hit me in the face and it was just three weeks into the season and I walked around with a black eye,” said Detulleo.
Through 11 years and more than 600 matches as head coach Detulleo has many memories that flash before his eyes on occasions reflecting on those experiences on the ice. The season his squad won its second consecutive championship he remembered how much work it took to build the program to be the elite program in the league and what he called “on the mountain top.” He recalled the moment he will always remember, “Just to see the clock counting down and seeing the players celebrate and the joy they were experiencing. That will be hard to top.”
Detulleo is also proud of the first title under his tenure when team captain Jacob Brown was diagnosed with cancer. “It was cool to see him bounce back with the support of the entire Havoc organization and beat cancer. He became 100-percent healthy. It’s a moment I won’t forget.”
He receives text messages and phone calls from former players on a regular basis and Detulleo feels those relationships he has built with his players will last forever and he’s blessed to know his players feel he is special.
Throughout his time with the Havoc match after match he stood in the team bench area wearing what has become his iconic look of wearing a bevy of different flat caps. He has 30-plus in his collection and said it all started in his first full season as head coach. “I asked Keith (Jeffries, team owner) if I could wear a hat as I didn’t have to bother with my hair. I wanted to wear something that looked dressed up and professional. I chose the flat cap. The notoriety has been unexpected.”
As his time with the Havoc winds down he feels he’s just a regular person who is a good husband and father, though he has a job that puts him in front of the public. A new coach will soon take his place, but Detulleo’s place within the history of the organization will be one of success and pride. Depending on how far this year’s team goes into the playoffs will decide when exactly he walks that distant road from the bench to the front office.
Walking the area of the Von Braun Center near the Propst arena Detulleo will reminisce about the countless hours spent on the ice both as a player and coach. He said, “There’s no question, when I hear in the distance the sounds of the pucks hitting the glass of the rink, I will miss coaching.”
“The Havoc organization has become our family, too, and the administration has made sure the organization is charity heavy,” said Detulleo. “I take pride in that fact as the Havoc has tried to make the community better.”