Penn State Lands Gadowsky from Princeton
CHN Staff Report
Ending the most talked about hiring search in college hockey, Penn State has hired Princeton's Guy Gadowsky to lead its fledgling hockey program.
Gadowsky has been at Princeton since 2004, leading the Tigers to a pair of NCAA Tournament bids in that span.
Penn State will begin play in 2012-13, and will join the Big Ten when that begins play in 2013-14.
A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Gadowsky 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."
Gadowsky will be officially introduced at a news conference at 3 p.m. Monday at Penn State.
Gadowsky beat out a pair of prominent finalists, including Minnesota-Duluth coach Scott Sandelin, and current Wisconsin women's coach Mark Johnson — each of whom have just won a national championship.
"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 Penn State athletic director Tim 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,” said 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.
Gadowsky was 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.
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.
Gadowsky is the second ECAC coach this week to leave his position for another Division I job, joining Union's Nate Leaman, who went to Providence. The Union job was immediately filled, but Princeton joins Clarkson now with head coaching vacancies.