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2014-15 BIG TEN COACH OF THE YEAROverall Record: 212-253-43 // Penn State Record: 39-55-6
Guy Gadowsky, the 2014-15 Big Ten Coach of the Year, will guide the Nittany Lions in his 16th collegiate season at the helm of an NCAA Division I program in 2015-16. Gadowsky is currently coaching his fourth Penn State varsity team.
AT PENN STATE
His 2014-15 Nittany Lions exceeded expectations all season, garnering a winning season in overall action (18-15-4) and Big Ten play (10-9-1-0), while earning the program's first conference ranking. Despite being picked sixth in the preseason, Gadowsky's charges were in the hunt for a Big Ten title up until the final weekend of the season.
Under Gadowsky's tutelage, junior Casey Bailey led the Big Ten in scoring and parlayed his outstanding season into a two-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, eventually scoring his first NHL goal in the season finale. Bailey was an All-Big Ten First Team honoree, while six other Nittany Lions earned honorable mention by the league coaches.
Last season also saw Gadowsky reach the 200-win plateau in historic fashion when his Lions knocked off No. 4 UMass Lowell, 4-1 on Nov. 15, 2014. The program's rise from its first year in the Big Ten to its sophomore campaign had gains of 10 wins overall and seven wins in conference play. Additionally, his Lions earned wins over every Big Ten team during the season including a season sweep of perennial power Wisconsin and a first win over Big Ten champion Minnesota on THON Night.
During the 2013-14 campaign, the bench boss guided the Nittany Lions during the Big Ten Conference's first season. Penn State, which faced seven NCAA tournament teams and three Frozen Four participants, capped its season with a 2-1 double-overtime victory against Michigan in the Big Ten quarterfinals.
In 2012-13, Gadowsky led the Nittany Lions to a 13-14-0 record during their inaugural NCAA Division I season. He guided the squad to several marquee victories, including wins against three future Big Ten teams (Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin). Penn State also topped Vermont in front of the largest crowd to watch a college hockey game in an NHL arena (19,529).
In 2011-12, Gadowsky steered Penn State's final season in the ACHA, while recruiting for the future. That team went 29-5-0.
Before coming to Happy Valley, Gadowsky served as Princeton's bench boss for seven seasons. In his first five years as head coach, the Tigers improved their win total in each season. In 2008-09, Princeton captured a program-record 22 victories and earned its second straight NCAA tournament appearance.
During the 2007-08 campaign, Gadowsky, who inherited a program that had a won a combined eight games in the two seasons prior to his arrival, guided Princeton to both the ECAC Hockey tournament and Ivy League crowns. The team earned its first NCAA tournament berth since 1998, and Gadowsky garnered ECAC Hockey Coach of the Year honors and was a finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award, presented to Division I hockey's top coach. He was also named Inside College Hockey National Coach of the Year.
While at Princeton, Gadowsky had more than 20 players go on to sign professional contracts, with Kevin Westgarth playing for the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings in 2011-12. Gadowsky also coached two ECAC and Ivy League Players of the Year as Lee Jubinville (2008) and Zane Kalemba (2009) each won the award in their junior seasons.
Prior to Princeton, Gadowsky spent five seasons as head coach of Alaska (1999-2004), where he inherited a team that had not won more than 14 games in the previous five seasons since joining the then-Central Collegiate Hockey Association. After two rebuilding seasons, the 2002 CCHA Coach of the Year led the Nanooks, who were ranked 11th nationally at the end of the season, to their only 20-win campaign since joining the conference. He followed that up with 15 wins in 2002-03 and 16 victories his last season.
In addition, Alaska twice hosted the first round of the CCHA playoffs in a three-year span, a feat never accomplished prior to Gadowsky's arrival. During his tenure with the Nanooks, his teams set school records for team grade-point average, wins and game attendance.
BEFORE COLLEGE COACHING
Before joining the collegiate ranks, Gadowsky spent three seasons (1996-99) as head coach and director of hockey operations for the Fresno Falcons of the West Coast Hockey League. He led the squad to the playoffs in each season and left the team as the winningest coach in franchise history. In his first season, Gadowsky posted a 38-win campaign as he garnered WCHL Coach of the Year accolades.
The Edmonton, Alberta, native played collegiately at Colorado College from 1985-89, serving as team captain as a senior, while also earning the team's Rodman Award, given for outstanding leadership and sportsmanship. The three-time WCHA All-Academic Team member collected 46 points in 134 career games.
Upon graduation, Gadowsky embarked on a seven-year professional career that included stops with the ECHL's Richmond Renegades, the IHL's San Diego Gulls and the AHL's St. John's Maple Leafs and Prince Edward Island Senators. Gadowsky saved his best season for last as he totaled 52 goals and 29 assists for the Fresno Falcons in 1995-96. He earned league MVP and first-team all-star recognition.
In addition, Gadowsky spent a portion of the 1993-94 season competing with the Canadian National Team and also played professionally in Austria, The Netherlands and Sweden.
Gadowsky and his wife, Melissa, have two sons, Mac and Magnus, and a daughter, Mia.