Postcard: Meet George Roll
Clarkson assistant coach George Roll was introduced as the 10th
coach in Golden Knights history at a Monday afternoon press
Kusmer lives near Toledo, Ohio, and wasn't a hockey fan at all growing
up in the Buckeye State.
on short notice last week, he drove more than 10 hours from northeast
Ohio to central Vermont to watch a hockey team from upstate New
York compete for the Division III national championship.
didn't think it was a big deal at all. He was simply returning an
act of kindness that was shown to him eight years earlier, when
one of his best friends drove from Potsdam, New York, to attend
his college graduation party in northeast Ohio.
met George Roll when the two arrived on the campus of Bowling Green
State University in the fall of 1981. An Ohioan that had no interest
in the game of hockey and a Falcon hockey recruit of head coach
Jerry York forged a lifelong friendship.
fired as Clarkson head coach
March 14: Clarkson
Roll's Record at Oswego
(.606 win pct.)
went on to win a national championship with the Falcons as a junior
in the spring of 1984 and captained Bowling Green in his senior
season. Kusmer eventually ended up getting his degree from Bowling
Green 13 years after the two met on campus.
graduation was celebrated at a party hosted by current Falcon bench
boss Scott Paluch – a close friend of both – and Roll
trekked down from Potsdam where he was assistant coach of Clarkson
at the time, to honor his pal "Kuz" and his accomplishment.
an act that Kusmer was happy to reciprocate during one of the biggest
weekends of Roll's professional life, when he led Oswego State to
the Division III Frozen Four.
the kind of guy you want to be there to support," Kusmer
said this weekend in Northfield, Vt., where he saw Roll's
Oswego team reach the national championship game before falling,
2-1, to Norwich.
is just one of many stories that people can tell about George Roll,
who was introduced as the 10th coach of the Clarkson Golden Knights
at an afternoon press conference on Monday.
University is hiring a man with an exceptional hockey resume, but
just as important, they're hiring an exceptional person. Kusmer,
remember, is not a hockey guy. His opinions don't carry any weight
in the tangled web that is the coaching profession. But his last-minute
trip from Ohio to Vermont is an endorsement that's as strong as
a professional reference from Jerry York, Rejean Houle or any other
is a very genuine person, and that carries over to his hockey team,"
Kusmer said. "Anything he approaches, whether it's family,
friendships, or coaching, he brings a level of dediation that's
reputation as a strong recruiter during his days as a Clarkson assistant
helped him land the head coaching job at Oswego State. After seven
years in charge of the Lakers, he returns to the Golden Knights,
and brings along a simple philosophy that helped Oswego State move
into the upper echelon of Division III programs.
certainly learned that the most important thing is to recruit quality
student athletes, and not just hockey players," Roll said.
"People that are respectful away from the ice, and to other
people, and strong in the community and on the college campus."
other words, Roll wants to recruit people like himself.