California Rubber

California’s and Nevada’s Authoritative Voice of Hockey

New Sabers coach Casillo bringing experience, energy to San Diego, USPHL


The San Diego Sabers have announced that Tyler Casillo has been named the new head coach, tasked to build off the success of previous seasons while continuing to grow the USPHL program.

Casillo began his journey in junior hockey by playing in the GOJHL for his hometown Buffalo Regals and for the GMHL’s Niagara Whalers, where he served as an alternate captain.

He started his coaching career at the 18U level before moving to the varsity level, where he helped advance his team to a sectional final. Shortly afterward, Casillo went back to the Regals, leading the team to its best record in franchise history and leading the GOJHL in NCAA Division III commitments as more than 10 student-athletes committed to play collegiate hockey at the end of his first season.

Named a finalist for Coach of the Year in 2020, thanks to his knowledge of the game, team management, and comprehensive variety of experience in junior hockey, Casillo said he is excited to bring his wealth of knowledge and experiences to San Diego and looks to continue developing a winning culture and focus on player advancement.

“I want to thank general manager Domenick DiCicco and director of hockey operations Tomas Kapusta for trusting me to lead this great franchise as the Sabers enter their 13th season,” Casillo said. “I’m proud to join the Sabers and look forward to helping develop this great hockey community located in San Diego’s North County. I’m excited to work on developing a winning culture that has a strong emphasis on student-athlete advancement.”

Casillo being named head coach comes shortly after the announcement of DiCicco being named GM. These announcements prove exciting news for junior hockey in California as the Sabers continue to be a premier destination for player development with experienced and professional leadership in place.

“We are excited to bring Tyler on as our head coach and believe his desire to win will help continue to build the program in the direction that we, as an organization, are working towards,” said DiCicco. “Tyler not only brings a wealth of experience with moving athletes into the NCAA ranks but also exciting energy, which we believe coincides with the Sabers’ goals.”

The Sabers have shown they are off to a strong start after announcing several players committed to the upcoming season, and Casillo remarked that this is only the beginning, with more announcements to come.

“Starting today, as we move forward with our recruiting process, we are seeking out young men who are willing to put in the work, day in and day out, to achieve one greater goal,” Casillo said. “San Diego is a beautiful place to live, but more importantly, will become a place opposing teams hate to play as the Sabers will be coming to battle every night, and I couldn’t be more excited to show our fans some great hockey this upcoming season.”

— San Diego Sabers Staff

(June 6, 2022)

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