Struggling Madison Capitols fire top coaches; former NHL defenseman Tom Gilbert named interim coach
Capitols relieve head coach Corey Leivermann and his staff of their duties. Tom Gilbert, Dominic Zombo and Ryan Galt take over behind Madison bench
MADISON — The Madison Capitols announced a series of coaching changes Monday morning, including the firing of head coach and general manager Corey Leivermann.
Associate head coach Gaven Bickford and assistant coach Ross Kovacs were also relieved of their coaching duties.
"This is a very difficult decision to make," Madison Capitols president Andrew Joudrey said in a statement. "Corey is a quality person, has worked hard, and is a good hockey coach. We thank him, Gaven, and Ross for their dedication and service to the Capitols organization.
"However, we feel it is necessary for this change to be made in order for our organization to get pointed back in the right direction. The development of our players is our number-one priority, and we believe a new voice is needed to ensure our players develop to the utmost of their ability."
Capitols Relieve Leivermann of Coaching Dutieshttps://t.co/ruzKcS6Tbn#GoCapsGo pic.twitter.com/dNGqKe1ewL— Madison Capitols (@MadCapsHockey) March 13, 2023
In the interim, former NHL defenseman Tom Gilbert will take over behind the bench. A veteran of 655 NHL games and a national champion at Wisconsin, Gilbert was Madison’s director of player development.
It’s been a rough season in Wisconsin’s capital city as Madison owns the USHL’s worst record (11-34-2-1) and the Capitols are well out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture — 20 points behind Muskegon.
Madison got off to a slow start in the fall and traded away its top three forwards in January in Miko Matikka, Quinn Finley and Jack Musa. The slow start continued and the Captiols have won just two of their last 15 games.
Madison reached the Clark Cup Finals last spring before ultimately falling short against Sioux City. Leivermann was an associate head coach on last year’s squad and was named Madison's head coach in June.
However, last spring's success never translated to this year's group.
"This is not a happy day for us, but we are committed to developing our players and getting our organization back to a Clark Cup-contending caliber of hockey,” Joudrey said. “We welcome the challenge of working with this group of players to finish this season on a strong note and diligently prepare for the 2023-24 season.”
Former Nebraska-Omaha forwards Dominic Zombo and Ryan Galt will also join Gilbert on the Madison bench as assistant coaches.
Zombo was the head coach for the Madison Capitols U18 AAA team while Galt, an Omaha native, was an assistant for that club.
Madison will host Cedar Rapids on Friday night before playing at Cedar Rapids and Chicago on Saturday and Sunday.