Penn State announced today that former Icers captain and assistant coach Bill Downey has rejoined his alma mater as Director of Hockey Operations for both the men's and women's programs. Let's start with some quotes from the principals, from the PSU release.
Joe Battista:"As all alumni can attest, returning to campus is already an indescribable feeling in and of itself. But to come back to work for a Division I hockey program at Penn State is truly a special opportunity, and one that I accept with great responsibility, humility and enthusiasm. I'm thrilled to help shape the program that ultimately shaped me -- as both a player and person."
"Bill Downey is the perfect link to the past, present, and future of Penn State Hockey. As an alum and former player he brings a passion for all things Penn State. I was blessed to have recruited and coach him and am thrilled to have him back on our staff."Josh Brandwene:
"I have known Bill Downey for over a decade. I had the pleasure of coaching him as an assistant coach during the 2003 World University Games and have worked many summer camps with him. He is an outstanding choice for this role and it's great to welcome him back to the Penn State community."Guy Gadowsky:
"Billy Downey is a great hire for Penn State Hockey. I have received several emails from alumni who recommended Billy highly as both hockey mind and as a person. He represents himself extremely well, and immediately establishes intelligence and a genuine honesty with whomever he communicates with. I have great respect for Coach Donato and he could not have been more complimentary with what he said about the job Billy did as Director of Hockey Operations for two very successful men's and women's hockey programs at Harvard. I know Billy will be a huge asset to Penn State Hockey."Downey, of course, was a standout Icers forward from 2000-2004, scoring 159 points on 57 goals and 102 assists (starting with four goals in his first game) and earning a +103 rating in 134 games. He was a three-time ACHA national champion, two-time winner of the team's Tammy Smith Unsung Hero Award and was one of Penn State's representatives to Team USA for the 2003 World University Games.
|Downey as a Johnstown Chief.
His professional experience following receiving his degree in economics is extremely diverse. As Gadowsky mentioned, Downey spent the 2010-2011 season in a similar role at Harvard, overseeing the day-to-day operations of their men's and women's programs. Immediately prior to that, of course, he made his first return to PSU - as one of Scott Balboni's assistants from 2008-2010, helping the Icers to a pair of ESCHL regular season and playoff championships. Following a four-season professional career that included stops in the ECHL, SPHL and UHL, Downey was an assistant for the ECHL's Reading Royals in 2007-2008.
The Pittsburgh native has fantastic connections in the recruiting world as well, serving as PSU's recruiting coordinator during his time as a coach. He's also run numerous camps and clinics, both at Penn State and elsewhere, served as a scout for the USHL's Chicago Steel, and is a former hockey director for Team Comcast in Pennsauken, NJ.
TYT extends its welcome (back, again) to Bill Downey!
More on Downey:
Payday Memorabilia: Bill Downey Jersey
Breakout Past: 2003 WUG T-Shirt