ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) – Less than a year ago, Mike Leone was introduced as the 8th head coach/general manager of the Green Bay Gamblers, and halfway through his first season with the organization, the culture has changed completely.

The Gamblers currently sit in second place in the Eastern Conference in the USHL. Whether it’s guys coming together on the ice, practicing well, and overall teamwork, it’s hard not to notice what Leone has done this season with the Gamblers.

“It’s been a full 180 culture-wise, and to learn from [Leone] every single day and have him on the bench and on the ice, it’s been huge. He’s been an unbelievable coach, and I’ve learned so much from him. It’s been awesome,” said Gamblers forward Barrett Hall.

“I wouldn’t say that we are the most skilled team in the league, but I would put us up there with the hardest working. They’ve bought into our identity,” said Leone. “We don’t talk about the standings or anything like that. It’s a one-day-at-a-time approach, and the kids know that and things are going really well.”

The Gamblers have been a staple in the community for years and have been a place where people enjoyed nights out. Players have felt the energy from the fans throughout this season.

“It’s super fun. Winning, definitely, in front of our crowd at home, I think people are appreciating the work we do behind the scenes and seeing people in the crowd, so it inspires us to play good,” said Nicholas Vantassell.

As the Gamblers start the second half of their season, Leone is continuing to use an interesting approach, something he’s done all year long. The head coach looks at the season in seven-game increments, and so far, Green Bay has won three out of the first four.

The Gamblers are back at home on Saturday, January 28.