@AdrianMD1Hockey's Gary Astalos Named National Coach of the Year for ACHA Division 1 Men's Hockey

Gary Astalos is the national coach of the year by the ACHA after leading the Bulldogs to that hockey organization's Division 1 men's championship crown in just his second season at the helm. (Photo by Carly Costello)
Gary Astalos is the national coach of the year by the ACHA after leading the Bulldogs to that hockey organization's Division 1 men's championship crown in just his second season at the helm. (Photo by Carly Costello)

TROY, Mich. – Adrian College head coach Gary Astalos has been named the 2018 American Collegiate Hockey Association Division 1 Men's Coach of the Year after guiding the Bulldogs to a record-setting season. Astalos becomes the second recipient of the award from the College, joining Dan Phelps who won in 2011.

Astalos was chosen from among a group of finalists that included the University of Illinois' Nick Fabbrini, Rick Zombo of Lindenwood University, and Minot State University's Wade Regier.

"The national coach of the year award from the ACHA is nice but the best feeling in the world was (that) our team winning the national championship down in Columbus," Astalos said. "All of this could not be possible without President (Dr. Jeffrey R.) Docking and Coach (and Athletics Director Michael) Duffy along with our staff Max Gavin and Aaron Bain, and lastly the amazing group of student-athletes we have on this team. I am very fortunate just to be a part of this special group."

With Astalos at the reins, the 2017-18 Bulldogs' season culminated in a program-record 36 wins, the No. 1 ranking for three weeks during the middle of the season, outscoring their opponents 260-42, and a national championship-clinching victory in Columbus, Ohio, over opponents by a combined 21-4 score.

Astalos, along with assistant coaches Gavin and Bain, piloted the Bulldogs to a 36-1 record that included a 15-1 record against teams ranked in the ACHA Division 1 men's Top 20 poll and sweeps of the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League (GLCHL) regular-season and tournament titles. The two-time GLCHL Coach of the Year saw Adrian post a home record of 19-0 as the Bulldogs went undefeated for the second consecutive regular-season at the Arrington Ice Arena, finishing the campaign having won their last 20 games in a row--another program benchmark--after their lone loss of the season at Stony Brook University on Nov. 18.

Astalos, the fourth Bulldog head coach in the 11-year history of the program, has now amassed a 69-5 career record for a .933 winning percentage, including two regular season GLCHL Championships, one GLCHL playoff championship, two ACHA "final four" appearances and the team's first Division 1 National Championship.

Astalos assumed his Adrian head coaching duties in May of 2016 after previously coaching junior hockey in Canada for four years. Originally from Southgate, Astalos received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Eastern Michigan University in 2012. He was a team captain and earned All-GLCHL accolades and an invitation to the USA Hockey Evaluation Camp. He also represented Eastern Michigan at the ACHA D-1 All-Star Game. Astalos played his junior hockey for the Missoula Maulers of the Northern Pacific Hockey League and the Kenai River Brown Bears of the North American Hockey League.

Off the ice, Astalos also serves as a team scout for the Odessa Jackalopes of the NAHL. Astalos will also graduate this April with a master's degree in sport management and leadership from Adrian College.

Gary and his wife Armanda, a dental hygienist in Taylor, reside in Monroe, Michigan.

#AdrianBulldogs #GoDawgs #BulldogProud 

(Editor's note: ACHA Public Relations contributed to this news report...photo below by Carly Costello).

Recipients of the ACHA Men's Division 1 Coach of the Year Award

2000 Joe Battista Penn State University

2001* Josh Brandwene University of Delaware

2001* Bob Zion Eastern Michigan University

2002 Joe Battista Penn State University

2003 Chad Cassel University of Illinois

2004 Dan Morris Ohio University

2005 Joe Augustine University of Rhode Island

2006 Joe Augustine University of Rhode Island

2007 Scott Balboni Penn State University

2008 Chad Cassel University of Illinois

2009 Craig McAlister University of Central Oklahoma

2010 Jeremy Goltz Arizona State University

2011 Dan Phelps Adrian College

2012 M.F. Schurman University of Delaware

2013 Wade Regier Minot State University

2014 Greg Powers Arizona State University

2015 Craig McAlister University of Central Oklahoma

2016 Rick Zombo Lindenwood University

2017 Wade Regier Minot State University

2018 Gary Astalos Adrian College

* Co-recipients

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About American Collegiate Hockey Association: The ACHA is a recognized 501(c)3 organization of more than 500 college and university-affiliated programs which provides structure, regulates operations, and promotes the quality of collegiate ice hockey throughout the United States. Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, the ACHA's primary mission is to support the growth and development of college hockey programs nationwide. The ACHA identifies standards which serve to unite and regulate teams at the collegiate level and will enter its 28th season in September 2018. For more information, visit www.achahockey.org.