Anthony Yelovich, who guided Glen Rock to a 36-12-6 record and a state championship over the past two seasons, has resigned from his coaching duties at the Bergen County school.
The 29-year-old Yelovich is leaving the high school coaching ranks to pursue a full-time bench position on the highly competitive travel hockey scene. Yelovich will take command of the 18-U New Jersey Hitmen next month and run its year-round hockey operations after serving as an assistant the past two seasons.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to progress my coaching career,” Yelovich said. “There’s big part of me that wants to pursue a coaching career, and I’m not sure it will lead but we will see. I’m excited about it. My whole life has been through hockey and I’ve lad a lot of opportunities and this is another one.”
In 2016-17, Yelovich guided the Glen Rock Panthers to a 22-3-4 record that included the school’s first state title – the 2017 NJSIAA Public B Championship – as well as the Big North Gold Cup last year. For his efforts, he was named the State Coach of the Year by NJ.com.
Yelovich began his scholastic coaching career three years ago at Nutley and steered the club to an 11-8-3 log.
“I love Glen Rock,” admitted Yelovich. “I loved the kids, the town, the people. They were tremendous to me and I wouldn’t want to coach anywhere else in high school.”
Yelovich, who went 47-20-9 overall in his three seasons coaching at Nutley and Glen Rock, sports an impressive hockey resume.
After he began skating at Clary Anderson Arena in Montclair when he was 3-years old, Yelovich progressed quickly before starring at Clifton High School where he earned Star-Ledger All-State honors while leading the state in scoring in his senior season in 2006, collecting 99 points on 51 goals and 44 assists.
All told, Yelovich totaled 199 points on 96 goals and 103 assists in his varsity career at Clifton where twice he was named the North Jersey Player of the Year by The Bergen Record.
After Clifton, Yelovich attended Gunnery Prep in Washington, Ct. before eventually skating collegiately at Sacred Heart University. After college he went to Europe and skated in the Austrian League while living in Croatia in 2012.
“It was a crazy experience — but it was super,” Yelovich recalled. “When I was playing there, it was a also the lockout year for the NHL in 2012. A lot of those guys came over to play and stay in shape and I played against guys like Thomas Vanek, Derick Brassard, Michael Grabner, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner.
“I played in Europe for one year and I picked up the language enough to get by. But it was an amazing experience.”
Yelovich remembers a game where he lined up to face-off against Vanek, who’s now with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“I lost it,” Yelovich laughs at the memory.
His time behind the bench at Glen Rock will carry fond memories for Yelovich as well.
“Glen Rock will always be special to me,” he said.
Written by Paul Bruno / @PaulBrunoHS
Special to HockeyClan
Main Image: Anthony Yelovich (center) celebrates the 2016-17 NJSIAA title he won with Glen Rock at Mennen Arena in Morris Township on March 7, 2017. Yelovich announced he has resigned from Glen Rock to become head coach of the New Jersey Hitmen (U-18). (Photo courtesy of Anthony Yelovich)
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