California, PA- After five seasons behind the bench, the Vulcans women's program will turn to a new direction as Head Coach Gary Gloeckl will be stepping down due to work responsibilities. Since the program's inception in 2008, the women's team has enjoyed much success. However, the success has not come without its share of struggles, and it could be said the most notable struggle came during the 2016-17 campaign. That year marked the start of Gary's tenure and a moment of uncertainty for the women's program, a season without competition. Inheriting insufficient numbers and the departure of the Vulcans most successful group of players in program history, Gary was tasked with selling a program to current and prospective players on the assumption that it would be there and competing come next season.
Gary was able to do just that; he slowly brought in the players and kept the program afloat. Numbers steadily grew year by year under his tenure, and as numbers grew, success followed with it. Many coaches are never faced with a situation where they must navigate waters of not competing for an entire season while coordinating players through it. Gary can now say he has accomplished it twice. Unfortunately, again due to COVID-19, Gary bonded a team through uncertain times to keep a group prepared and ready for when their time would come. "Gary has transformed our women's program over his five years, stated Vulcans General Manager Jamison Roth. We truly appreciate his time, energy, and dedication."
Gary was the Vulcans Head Coach for five seasons, although his teams could compete for three years, and he compiled a record of 15-38-1-2. With the most recent season (19-20) on the ice having the team go 9-6-1-1 and qualifying for the College Hockey East playoffs for the first time since 2016. While Gary's impact on the team is evident over their continued success, what will truly be missed is the direct impact he had on his players on and off the ice. During his tenure, Gary helped oversee one ACHA Division II All-American 2nd Team member, five ACHA Division II Academic All Americans, and one ACHA Division II Off-Ice MVP.
The California University of Pennsylvania Hockey Club and, more specifically, women's program would not be where it is today without the leadership and teaching of Gary over the past five seasons. Everyone within the organization is extremely sad to see him leave. However, we all wish him the best of luck in the future. "It's because of people like Gary, California University of PA is able to offer a high quality education combined with a growing and successful women's ice hockey team to current and prospective students," said Roth.
The search for a new head coach has begun, and the club plans to announce a successor soon. Please check the website and follow on social media for an upcoming announcement.
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Tag(s): Women's Team