Zach Gaynor has been named the new head coach for the Marian University men’s ice hockey program announced director of athletics Jason Bartelt Tuesday. Gaynor replaces Lincoln Nguyen who recently accepted a Division I assistant coaching position.
“I am pleased to announce that Zach Gaynor will be taking over the leadership of our men’s hockey program,” commented Bartelt on the hiring. “As a Marian hockey alum and coach, he has been around NCAA hockey and the grueling NCHA for nine years. It is great to get him back home and behind our bench. I look forward to watching him continue the strong tradition of Marian Hockey.”
Gaynor begins his second stint for the Sabre hockey program after serving as an assistant from 2009-2012. During the three-year stint, Gaynor helped coach the Sabres to a 20-win season, two consecutive berths into the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament Championship, and the program’s first All-American in Dakota Dubetz. Gaynor earned his bachelors in business administration with an emphasis in sport and recreation management from Marian in 2008.
Most recently, Gaynor served as the associate head coach for fellow NCHA member Concordia Wisconsin since 2012. During his time as a Falcon he specialized in recruiting and managing the CUW defense. Concordia Wisconsin was able to qualify for the NCHA Harris Cup Tournament three times in his five seasons including the program’s first winning season at 13-11-1 in the 2016-17 season.
The Falcons also knocked off then-ranked No. 1 St. Norbert twice for the program’s first win and sweep over the Green Knights in 2017. During the series, the Falcons held SNC scoreless on five power play opportunities and shut out the Green Knights in the finale of the series 3-0 from Ozaukee Ice Arena.
“I would like to thank Lincoln Nguyen, Jason Bartelt, and President Manion for this opportunity,” commented Gaynor. “I am very excited to be the head coach where my career first started almost a decade ago. It has been a goal of mine to return and be the head coach at my alma mater. Coach Nguyen has played a vital role in the success of this program and I look forward to continuing that success moving forward. Marian hockey has a rich history of athletic and academic excellence and I am grateful and humbled to be a part of that once again.”
His background in hockey goes back to his playing days where he played for the Springfield Spirit of the NAHL and the Nipawin Hawks of the SJHL in juniors. Gaynor then went on to compete for the University of Oregon ACHA Division II squad where the Ducks won their division and earned a berth into the national tournament. In his one season as a Duck Gaynor played in 22 games scoring seven goals with 12 assists for 19 points.