Matt Ocello has been coaching at various levels of youth hockey in St. Louis for more than 30 seasons. For the 2022-23 season, Ocello was head coach of the St. Louis Eagles U11 CSDHL team and was a part-time assistant coach with the St. Louis Jr. Blues. He also assisted Scott Sanderson with Affton Americans Midget CSDHL teams at the U14, U15, and U16 levels over the past three seasons. In the 2019-20 season, Ocello won a state championship as head coach of the AAA Blues U18 team. In 2018-19 he coached with the AAA Blues U14 team and won the Tier 1 Elite League Championship, Missouri State Championship, and earned a spot at the USA Hockey National Championships.
Ocello was a head coach with the Affton Americans Midget program at both the U18 and U14 levels from 2007-2016. Ocello’s Affton Americans U14 CSDHL team earned a second-place finish at USA Hockey National Championships in 2011 and captured the National Championship in 2012 and 2013. In 2016, Ocello lead the Affton Americans U18 CSDHL team to a third-place finish at USA Hockey National Championships. Ocello earned numerous league championships during his tenure with Affton Americans CSDHL program. He also served as head coach of the U18 AIC Prospects team in 2016 and 2017. Ocello coached with the St. Louis AAA Blues and Chesterfield Falcons from 1993-2007 at the U12, U14, and U18 levels. He coached at various goalie camps from 1989-2000 including his own camp, the St. Louis Goaltending Academy and continues to work with goalies on his teams. Over his three decades of coaching, Ocello assisted dozens of players advancing to higher levels of hockey including the ACHA, NAHL, USHL, NCAA Division III, NCAA Division I and professional hockey.
As a youth, Ocello was a goaltender playing with the Affton Americans Hockey Club from 1973 to 1984 and was a member of the St. Louis Jr. Blues/Affton Americans Jr. teams from 1985-1988. Ocello was a member of the 1988 St. Louis Jr. Blues NAJHL Gold Cup Championship team. He attended Christian Brothers College High School and captured the Mid-States Club Hockey Association Championships in 1987 and 1988 with a 56-0 record over two seasons. After graduating, he played junior hockey in the USHL with the North Iowa Huskies. In 1989, Ocello captured the USA Hockey National Jr. A Championship with the Huskies. Then in 1990, played with the Indianapolis Jr. Ice of the North American Hockey League and was among the league leaders in GAA and save percentage. Ocello played minor professional hockey briefly in the CHL, CoHL and the AHA.
Of this opportunity, Ocello says, “It is a great honor to be named Head Coach of the St. Louis Jr. Blues. As a player during the inaugural season of the team, I have a high level of personal pride in the program. Watching players over the last three decades advance to higher levels of the game has been impressive. The Jr. Blues program was a catalyst for me advancing as a player in my hockey career and I look forward to assisting the players in our program achieve their goals.”
“I look forward to carrying on the legacy that many former players, coaches, and general managers have built over the 35 years of the program. It is an historic program with a lot of success on the ice. Because of that, there have been many players over the decades moving on to collegiate hockey, minor pro teams, and even the NHL,” he added.