In the interest of full disclosure, I want to admit that I know very little about hockey. I know what “in the crease” means…kind of…and that’s about as in-depth as I go.
More than a preview, this is just a recollection of my lone encounter with Penn State head hockey coach, Guy Gadowsky.
At the Cleveland “Coach’s Caravan” stop, following the media session with Bill O’Brien, coach Gadowsky was headed into the room to do a video interview for GoPSUSports.com. Off the cuff, out of curiosity, I asked him in passing “What’s it like recruiting players for a D1 program that essentially doesn’t exist yet?” He went into his recruiting pitch, saying something (totally paraphrasing from memory here) like “There are some kids who are looking for an established program. They’re looking for a storied hockey team like a Minnesota or a Boston College and they simply aren’t interested in a start-up organization like ours. Then there are kids who are excited about the prospect of something new-of being a part of something like that. Those are the kind of kids we’re looking for. … Do you know any?” It was a funny, personable moment in which I immediately realized what the Penn State brass had seen in Guy.
Gadowsky’s most recent coaching stint was at Princeton where he posted winning records in 3 of the last 4 years. He also had several stops during a six year professional career. On top of that, he showed me the ability to quickly connect with people. Our conversation was brief but he talked about the new arena and his excitement for the future and I left that room thinking, “if I knew anything about hockey or even had ice-skated once in my life…that’s the guy I’d want to be my coach.”
Today was the Penn State hockey media day as they open their first ever division one season this Friday at home against American International College. Check out the full transcript from media day HERE. I suggest reading Guy’s answers with a Canadian accent to get the full effect.