May 5, 2004
Princeton Hires UAF's Gadowsky

Nearly two months after firing Len Quesnelle, Princeton filled its vacant head coaching position on Wednesday, as athletic director Gary Walters announced the hiring of former Alaska-Fairbanks head coach Guy Gadowsky.

Gadowsky, who played in the WCHA at Colorado College and has coached the CCHA's Nanooks for five seasons, fills what had been the nation's lone college coaching vacancy. His hire defies two popular schools of thought regarding the Princeton position: that it would go to an up-and-coming assistant coach, rather than a head coach, and that the ideal candidate would have ties to the Ivy League, or at least the ECAC.

"We are delighted to appoint Guy as our new men's hockey coach," says Walters. "Guy is one of the top young coaches in college hockey today and is committed to building a strong program here at Princeton. We look forward to a bright future for Princeton hockey."

Gadowsky spent five seasons at Alaska Fairbanks, building a 68-87-22 overall record and a 50-70-20 record in the CCHA. He inherits a Princeton team that struggled in four years under Quesnelle since the departure of current Massachusetts head coach Don Cahoon, including back-to-back last-place finishes in the ECAC.

"Coming to Princeton is a great opportunity," said Gadowsky, who will be introduced in a campus press conference on Friday. "I believe so highly in college athletics and college hockey, and the opportunity to work in these areas at a great academic institution like Princeton is very exciting."

At Fairbanks, Gadowsky took over a team that had lost more than 20 games in each of the previous five seasons. After two rebuilding seasons, Gadowsky led the Nanooks to their first 20-win season in 2001-02 (22-12-3) and a No. 11 national ranking at the end of the season. He was named the CCHA Coach of the Year that season, and followed that up with 15 and 16 wins the next two years, respectively.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to build a successful Division I hockey program at a top academic institution like Princeton," says Gadowsky. "I will work unceasingly to elevate the program in the classroom, on the ice, and in the community. To be able to pursue this goal at a place as storied as Princeton is very exciting."

Before joining Fairbanks, Gadowsky served as the Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the Fresno Falcons of the West Coast Hockey League. He coached three seasons and led the Falcons to the WCHL playoffs each year. He left Fresno as the Falcon's winningest coach in franchise history, compiling a 106-80-12 record and a .566 winning percentage. He earned the WCHL's Coach of the Year award in 1997 after the Falcons posted a 38-20-6 record in his first season.

Gadowsky also has coaching experience in Roller Hockey International, serving as the head coach of the Oklahoma Coyotes in 1996 and the San Jose Rhinos from 1997 to 1999. He was the RHI Coach of the Year in 1997 after the Rhinos went 15-7 and won the Western Conference title and a berth in the finals. He also spent a season as an assistant coach with the Richmond Renegades of the East Coast Hockey League.

The Edmonton, Alberta, native began coaching following a seven-year professional playing career. He attended Colorado College from 1986-1989 and earned a bachelor's degree in economics. On the ice, he served as the team captain his senior year and won the teams Rodman Award, given for outstanding leadership and sportsmanship. The three-time Western Collegiate Hockey Association All-Academic Team member amassed 46 career points in 134 career games.

Upon graduation, Gadowsky began a professional playing career that saw him have stops with the ECHL's Richmond Renegades, the International Hockey League's San Diego Gulls, and the American Hockey League's St. John's Maple Leafs and Prince Edward Island Senators. In 1995 he joined Fresno and enjoyed the best season of his pro career, scoring 52 goals and adding 29 assists for 81 points in 51 games. That season he was a first-team all-star and the won the WCHL's Most Valuable Player Award. He also served as a player/coach that season before taking over head coaching responsibilities the following season. He also played professionally in Sweden, Holland and Austria.

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