UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Director of Athletics Tim Curley has announced the hiring of Guy Gadowsky, formerly of Princeton University, as the first head coach of the men’s ice hockey program. The 2008 Inside College Hockey National Coach of the Year, Gadowsky brings 15 years of head coaching experience to lead the Nittany Lions into NCAA Division I competition starting in 2012-13.
Gadowsky has spent the past seven years leading Princeton’s resurgence, which includes NCAA Championship berths in 2008 and ’09 and the 2008 ECAC Hockey Championship. A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, he was head coach at Alaska-Fairbanks for five years prior to taking the reins of the Princeton program and has earned league coach of the year honors at each of his three head coaching posts.
“Guy is the perfect choice for Penn State,” said Penn State President Graham Spanier. “He has been immensely successful, is a great motivator, knows how to build programs, and has strong academic values.”
“Pursuing success with honor. Building tradition. Achieving excellence. As we launch our hockey program at the Division I level, these are the on and off-ice expectations, and Guy Gadowsky has successfully accomplished these goals and more throughout his career. We welcome Guy and his family to Hockey Valley,” said Curley.
“I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to lead Penn State hockey during this transitional period and into Division I,” Gadowsky said. “I am truly honored to join Penn State and the spirit, pride, passion, class and professionalism found within its students, staff and alumni. I am humbled by the tremendous gift by the Pegula family and the commitment by Penn State. This is a very exciting time for college hockey and Penn State and our family is thrilled to be joining the Penn State family.”
In September 2010, the University announced an $88 million gift from Terrence M. and Kim Pegula, the largest private gift in Penn State’s history, which was intended to fund a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose ice arena as well as help to establish an NCAA Division I men’s hockey program.
In conjunction with the gift, Penn State will establish an NCAA women’s hockey program.
“I am very impressed with Guy, his pursuit of the challenge at hand and plans for Penn State hockey, stated Terry Pegula.
“We are thrilled to have successfully courted a coach from such a strong academic institution with the passion, energy and the perfect demeanor for Penn State,” commented Joe Battista, Associate Director of Athletics for Ice Arena and Hockey Development. “Guy has outstanding recruiting connections across North America and with USA Hockey and Hockey Canada and has built or revived programs in college and professional hockey.”
Appointed to the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee through 2013, Gadowsky took over a Princeton program that had won a combined eight games in the two seasons prior to his arrival for the 2004-05 campaign. During his initial five seasons, the Tigers improved their win total each year, topped by a program record 22 victories in 2008-09.
Gadowsky led Princeton to two of its three all-time NCAA Championship berths in the 110 years of the program, in 2008 and 2009.
As a collegiate head coach, Gadowsky has helped develop nine players who have played in the National Hockey League, including three of his former Princeton players who have played in the NHL this season: Mike Moore (San Jose), Darroll Powe (Philadelphia) and Kevin Westgarth (Los Angeles). A 2011 Princeton senior, AHCA second-team All-American Taylor Fedun, signed with the Edmonton Oilers, after the Tigers’ season was completed.
Among some of Gadowsky’s accomplishments as Princeton’s head coach:
- In 2007-08, the Tigers won their first outright Ivy League title and the ECAC Hockey Championship to earn their first NCAA Championship berth in 10 years. Gadowsky was selected Inside College Hockey National Coach of the Year, ECAC Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) National Coach of the Year;
- In 2008-09, Princeton earned its second consecutive NCAA berth after finishing third in the ECAC standings and tournament, winning a school record 22 games;
- Princeton has had seven All-Americans all-time, four of whom were coached by Gadowsky. The Tigers’ Lee Jubinville (2008) and Zane Kalemba (2009) were ACHA All-Americans, as well as Princeton’s first ECAC Players of the Year. They also were Princeton’s initial finalists for the 2009 Hobey Baker Award, presented to the nation’s top collegiate hockey player. Baker was a Princeton graduate;
- A total of 65 Princeton hockey student-athletes were named ECAC All-Academic Team members during the past six years;
- Led 2011 seniors to a program record 72 victories over the past four seasons;
- Posted a 105-109-15 record during his seven years with the Tigers and has the highest winning percentage among all Princeton head coaches since 1934. In seven years, Gadowsky ranks fourth in victories all-time for a program that began in 1900-01.
Gadowsky re-built the Alaska-Fairbanks program from 1999-2000 through 2003-04. Taking over a program that lost at least 20 games in each of its five seasons as CCHA members, by Gadowsky’s third season the Nanooks were 22-12-3 and ranked No. 11 nationally at the end of the 2001-02 campaign. He was a finalist for AHCA National Coach of the Year honors and was the CCHA Coach of the Year in 2002. Alaska-Fairbanks won 15 and 16 games, respectively, the next two years and hosted the first round CCHA playoffs twice for the first time in program history under Gadowsky’s direction.
One of 10 members of the NCAA’s Regional Advisory Committee, Gadowsky was head coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the WCHL’s Fresno Falcons for three years. He led Fresno to the WCHL playoffs all three years, was named WCHL Coach of the Year in 1987 and was the franchise’s winningest coach when he left for Alaska-Fairbanks.
Gadowsky played at Colorado College from 1986-89, earning a degree in economics. As a senior, he was the team captain and was selected winner of the team’s Rodman Award, presented for Outstanding Leadership and Sportsmanship. Gadowsky was a three-time WCHA All-Academic Team member.
Gadowsky played professionally for seven years upon graduation, including stops with Richmond (ECHL), San Diego (IHL) and St. John’s and Prince Edward Island of the American Hockey League. He also played with the Canadian National Team for a portion of the 1993-94 season and played professionally in Sweden, Holland Austria.
In 1995-96, Gadowsky joined Fresno and was selected the WCHL’s Most Valuable Player and a first-team All-Star. He scored 52 goals and had 29 assists in 51 games as a player/coach, retiring as a player to become the Falcons’ full-time head coach in 1996-97.
The Penn State men’s and women’s ice hockey teams are slated to begin competition in the 2012-13 season as NCAA Division I independents. The directors of athletics of the six Big Ten Conference institutions that sponsor men’s ice hockey will recommend to the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors in June the establishment of men’s ice hockey as a conference sport with the 2013-14 season.
Conference affiliation for the Penn State women’s ice hockey program is to be determined.
Pegula Ice Arena is slated to open in late 2013 and will be built on the corner of Curtin Road and University Drive, directly west of the Bryce Jordan Center. The new 200,000-square-foot, multi-purpose ice arena will be the only major rink within an 80-mile radius and will be on par with the best collegiate facilities in the country. It will include two ice sheets and other features that will allow it to be used for a broad range of campus and community activities, from commencement ceremonies to kinesiology classes to public skating sessions and camps for youth.
Gadowsky and his wife, Melissa, have two sons, Mac and Magnus, and a daughter, Mia.