Head men’s hockey coach Lincoln Nguyen has announced the hiring of Zach Gaynor as the new associate head men’s hockey coach for the Marian men’s hockey program.
“I am excited and we are fortunate to be able to add Zach to our staff,” commented Nguyen. “Zach will be returning to his alma mater as well as where he started his coaching career. We are big believers in that everyone who has ever been a part of Marian as a coach or player has helped mold our program into what it is today. So for an alumn to be coming back to where it all started will be awesome. I know he takes a lot of pride in the fact that he comes from Marian and we are very fortunate to be able to bring that pride into our locker room and culture.”
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 am excited and proud to return to my alma mater and to call Marian University home again,” commented Gaynor. “I would like to thank Lincoln Nguyen, Jason Bartelt and President Manion for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to many successful seasons to come and returning to the conference championship.”
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.