The Caravan, which hit 12 cities across Pennsylvania and on the east coast over the last two weeks, was created last year when the heat of the Jerry Sandusky scandal was still white and largely to revive Penn State pride while promoting then-new football coach O'Brien. O'Brien, the headliner and only coach to appear at every stop, was joined by various coaches from other Nittany Lion teams - generally two or three others per stop - and each greets fans and alumni during a cocktail hour before giving a presentation.
Gadowsky, who was only involved with the Caravan's final day (which included an afternoon stop in DuBois, PA prior to Pittsburgh), fired off an inspiring talk. Apologies for the sound and video quality.
His number was called twice during the Q-and-A session that followed the speeches:
- When all three coaches were asked how they recruit a kid from California to Penn State, Gadowsky cited "the special thing you [the attendees] bring to us" and the feeling of pride that permeates PSU's campus.
- Another question involved trying to figure out, while on the recruiting trail, whether a prospect would be a good fit for Penn State's rigorous academic culture for athletes. Gadowsky said that he asks a player's teammates because, and I absolutely love this line, "hockey players can fool their coaches, but they can't fool their teammates."
The press conference was attended by Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and, as happened last year, the idea of hockey in Beaver Stadium got some attention.
Gadowsky said Penn State's football stadium would be an ideal place to hold the NHL Winter Classic and pit cross-state rivals like the Penguins and Flyers against one another.One final note: the video shown during Gadowsky's speech is the Pegula Ice Arena Virtual Tour, which was published to YouTube about a month ago. Here's a better look if you've never seen it:
“I think it would be fantastic,” Gadowsky said Thursday.
The central location of Penn State to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia makes Beaver Stadium an attractive location, he said.