Duluth East has hired Steve Pitoscia as head coach of the Greyhounds boys hockey program, the school announced Monday evening.

A former player at East himself, Pitoscia was the head coach of the Greyhounds’ Bantam AA program for 17 seasons from 2001-18. He previously served as an assistant coach for the Greyhounds (2000-01) and Duluth Marshall (2018-19).

“Coach Pitoscia has an exceptional track record of success at many different levels of hockey,” Duluth East activity director Shawn Roed said in a news release issued by the Duluth school district. “That combined with his passion make him an ideal person to lead the program into the future.”

Pitoscia coached the previous two seasons in Omaha, Nebraska, leading the Omaha Mastery AAA hockey program’s 18U and 16U teams, as well as scouting for the Omaha Lancers of the Tier I junior United States Hockey League.

“Being a part of the East hockey program has always meant a great deal to me,” Pitoscia said in the release. “I am excited and incredibly grateful for the opportunity to lead it.”

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Longtime coach Mike Randolph resigned on June 1 as coach of the Greyhounds after 36 years (1988-2003, 2004-21) and 658 wins — the third-most all-time for a Minnesota high school coach and 49 behind record-holder Lorne Grosso of Rochester Mayo.

Under Randolph, the Greyhounds went to 18 Class AA state tournaments, finished as the runner-up six times and won two titles, in 1995 and 1998.

Randolph cited pressure from parents and a lack of administrative support as his reasons for resigning last month. He was investigated by the school district in the spring after complaints had been filed against him.

The Greyhounds finished under .500 the previous two seasons — the first time that’s happened in 67 years — and never got to take part in the 2020-21 postseason because of a positive COVID-19 test within the program.

“I look forward to working hard at maintaining the high standard that coach Randolph has set for the program over the last three decades,” Pitoscia said in the news release. “Most importantly, I’m looking forward to working with the team. I’m excited to start learning about each of them and getting to know them all. At the end of the day, this is about the young men in that dressing room and providing them with a great high school experience.”