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Petraglia steps down as Chill head coach

Veteran coach took over the team in 2012 and led them to the league championship game in 2012 and 2017.
Sullivan Silva Giovanni Petraglia
Chill forward Sullivan Silva (left) and coach Giovanni Petraglia on Friday, May 25, 2018 at Montana's. (Leith Dunick,

THUNDER BAY — The Thunder Bay Chill are on the hunt for a new coach.

After 10 years, the United Soccer League 2 team announced Gio Petraglia is stepping down after 10 years behind the bench, having taken the Chill to the league championship game in 2013 and 2017.

Petraglia, who hinted after last summer’s regular-season finale that he might not be back, said it was time to move on, both for his own future and that of the team’s.

“Ten years is a very long time and I feel privileged to have spent those with this outstanding organization. The memories are countless and impossible to collect. Our runs of 2013 and 2017 are certainly among them, despite the unfortunate outcome in Austin and Charlotte,” Petraglia said, in a release issued by the team on Monday night.

Longtime assistant coach Stefano Cristalli will also not return, choosing to pursue a coaching career in Italy.

Petraglia joined the Chill in 2012 as a youth coach and took over for Tony Colistro as coach of the men’s team, leading them to 43 regular season wins.

“I’d like to thank the board, the kids, the parents, the players, the fans and the entire community for welcoming me from day one and for making me feel part of this special family. A particular thank you to all my colleagues, with whom I was very lucky to share the field throughout those years. I will treasure everything I learned from each one of them,” he said.

Colistro said the team plans to name Petraglia's replacement by mid-February, adding they're looking for a coach that can help the team return to playoff and championship form. They're also looking for someone who will stick around long-term. 

"Just the way our club has progressed through the years, we are not a club where we're switching coaches out every second or third year," said Colistro, who coached the team from its inception throught the 2011 campaign. 

"We think the coach is the leader. It's a very important position and we just want to be sure it's someone who we can depend on, someone who knows what our culture is. We want to be in the playoffs every year. We want a winning team every year. (They know) the types of players we want to bring here to Thunder Bay, so someone who definitely has some background in the game, especially at USL2." 

Pitch marks: Colistro said the team's 2023 schedule is done, but the league has not yet publicly released it. 

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith is Dougall Media's director of news, but still likes to tell your stories too. Wants his Expos back and to see Neil Young at least one more time. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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