STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (CBS) - Penn State continues preparations for its ice hockey program to transition from the club level to Division I in 2012. The latest move was the hiring of Guy Gadowsky as the men’s head coach.
Gadowsky (right) spent the last seven seasons at Princeton where he turned the Tigers into a consistent contender — leading them to NCAA Championship berths in 2008 and 2009 and winning the 2008 ECAC Hockey Championship.
He talks about what made this job attractive for him:
“Obviously the foundation that Coach Paterno set, in terms of academic excellence — Penn State has the top graduation rate among athletes from the big schools — and also, they do things right. It’s a clean program. If they are in the news, you hear about them for doing great things, not bad things,” he said.
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Guy Gadowsky in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
While it will be a difficult transition to the Division I level, the club team at Penn State has been an elite one for years, and Gadowsky says that success will help a lot as they try to brand this program.
“When people say, ‘Hey, you are starting a program from scratch’, that’s not true at all,” he notes. “The Icers (club) program that they have now has a ton of success and an excellent tradition of not only winning, but doing things right. So I think the foundation is there.”
Obviously Gadowski has a ton on his plate as he gets his feet on the ground in Happy (or “Hockey”) Valley, but he has no doubt about what his first order of business will be.
“What I want to do first off is just get to learn about Penn State: how they do things so great, all the time. Whatever they do, they do it full bore and they do it professionally and classy, and there’s a lot of coaches that have figured that out. So first thing, if they allow me to, anyway, I’m going to try and spend a little bit of time with these coaches and figure out how they do so well with Penn State.”
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 athletic directors 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.
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060
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