Filighera joins the Red Dragons with an extensive coaching background having most recently served as the girls head coach at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio, for the past 12 years.
“I am extremely pleased and excited to welcome Rick as our new women’s ice hockey head coach,” Cortland director of athletics Mike Urtz said in a statement. “With his experience and knowledge of the game, I anticipate a great future for the program. No doubt, he is an excellent addition to the Red Dragon staff.”
Prior to the Gilmour Academy, Filighera was the inaugural women’s head coach at Maine in 1997 where he led the squad through the 2003-04 season. He was nominated for the ECAC Coach of the Year during his first season behind the bench and finished as the runner-up for Hockey East Coach of the Year in his final campaign.
Previously, Filighera held his first collegiate head coaching position with the RIT women’s team from 1995 to 1997. He helped guide the program to a pair of ECAC playoff semifinal appearances, including a runner-up finish in 1996. He began his career as an assistant coach at Brockport (N.Y.) High School and eventually assumed the head coaching position from 1993 to 95.
“I feel very fortunate and honored in becoming the new head women’s coach at SUNY Cortland,” stated Filighera. “I would like to thank Mr. Urtz and the athletic department staff for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to the challenge of building this program and believe my experiences over the past 20 years in the women’s game will help me lead the SUNY Cortland program into the future.”
Throughout his career, Filighera has attended multiple clinics and mentored at several regional and national ice hockey camps. He also served as the head coach of the Gilmour Gladiators, a girls’ U14 Tier II team, from 2014-16, guiding the team to a Mid-Am district title and quarterfinal appearance at the USA Hockey Tier II national tournament in Lansing, Mich., in 2015.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Filighera received a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Brockport in 1991 and earned his master’s degree in educational leadership at Maine in 2004.