FAIRBANKS - University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey coach Guy Gadowsky has resigned to take over the program at Princeton.
Gadowsky, 36, will be introduced as Princeton's coach today, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
"It was very, very, very tough," he said. "This has been such a huge part of who I am, and a huge part of my family, for five years. I've enjoyed it so much. And that's why it was really, really hard."
Gadowsky, 36, is credited with taking a program that had endured five consecutive losing seasons before his arrival in 1999 and turning it into a team that earned home ice for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs in two of the last three seasons.
Gadowsky has an overall 68-87-22 record at UAF and was 53-45-11 in the last three seasons.
"He's obviously leaving a big void. He's not only taught us players to become better players, but he's also taught us to become better people," said Corbin Schmidt of Anchorage, who will be a senior for the Nanooks.
Average attendance at the Carlson Center jumped from 2,962 per game the season before Gadowsky arrived to 4,055 last season.
Gadowsky said he and his family will move to New Jersey this summer.
Tavis MacMillan, who was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator under Gadowsky before taking a job as the school's NCAA compliance official last year, was named Gadowsky's successor.
MacMillan said he was sad to see his mentor go.
"It was tough for me to see him leave, but at the same time I feel I'm ready for this, and the reason is because of what I learned from coach Gadowsky," said MacMillan, 33.
Gadowsky is the second head coach in a week to leave the Nanooks. Men's basketball coach Al Sokaitis resigned last week after eight seasons. He was replaced by assistant coach Frank Ostanik.