RPI's Appert stunned by mentor Gwozdecky's ouster at Denver
University of Denver hockey coach George Gwozdecky was a mentor to RPI head coach Seth Appert when Appert was an assistant coach at Denver for nine years.
So, when Appert heard the news Monday that Gwozdecky is out as Denver's coach, he was stunned.
“I’m shocked,” Appert said. “I’m sad. Those are some of the people that I’m closest to, not just hockey, those are people that are family to me and my family. It’s really tough right now.”
Appert said he spoke to Gwozdecky and other Denver hockey staff members weekly. But Gwozdecky never mentioned anything about it.
Asked if he would be a candidate for the opening, Appert declined comment.
Gwozdecky compiled a 443-267-64 record with Denver. The team was 20-14-5 this season, and lost to New Hampshire, 5-2, in Friday’s NCAA hockey tournament Northeast Regional semifinal.
“We certainly wish George the best in his future endeavors, and we are thankful for his 19 years at the helm of our hockey program,” vice chancellor for athletics and recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes said in a statement. “He certainly had his fair share of success, returning the program to the pinnacle of the collegiate hockey world during our great run in the middle of the previous decade. In addition, he has always run our program with class and professionalism, which has certainly made our fans proud to be Pioneer supporters.
“We must now turn our attention toward a new direction for our hockey program with another innovative coach taking the lead for our inaugural season in the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference.”
Including an eight-run at Miami (Ohio), Gwozdecky has a career record of 593-391-85.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to be the varsity hockey coach at the University of Denver for the past 19 years,” Gwozdecky said in the press release. “I’m extremely proud of the work that we have done to continue to build on the great Pioneer hockey tradition. Our consistency of success on the ice and in the classroom over the years has been a focal point of our work, and I am very proud of what we have achieved. I will forever cherish the relationships that we have built in the Denver community with our fans, our staff and most importantly our former and current players. I want to wish them all the best.”
Gwozdecky will address the media Tuesday.