Dawes replaces Downey as Penn State’s director of hockey operations

Penn State announced Thursday the hiring of Alex Dawes as its new director of hockey operations.

Dawes replaces Bill Downey, who has accepted the role of manger of hockey operations for the American Hockey League affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms .

“Alex Dawes has impressed the athletic department, our administration and our hockey staff with his tireless work ethic, attention to detail and his communication skills,” said Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky in a statement. “He is well respected outside of PSU and with previous experience in Division I men’s hockey operations, he will provide a seamless transition.

“We will miss Billy very much and wish him and his family the very best with the Flyers.”

Dawes, now entering his fourth year at Penn State, has served as assistant women’s hockey coach and director of operations for the past two seasons. He is a 2012 graduate of Utica, where he also spent time as an assistant coach and director of hockey operations for the Pioneer men’s team from 2009 to 2013.


  1. I don’t think people realize how much this could shake up hockey. If both schools drop their programs then it could trigger another round of realignment from Western Michigan and possibly Miami of Ohio.

    • Wouldn’t be surprised if you see NCAA hockey try to push some other schools to elevate hockey from club to D-1 status, as contraction looks bad, even if its completely external factors. There are B1G schools that could step up, and with ASU, you may have more appetite for Pac-12 schools to start exploring hockey.

      • Its jhard for them to do that, hockey is really expensive to start even if you have an arena that can seat between 3000-10,000 people, ASU still needed 33 million on hand to start hockey and that didn’t include a new arena. Also you are assuming that the NCAA cares about College hockey, it doesn’t. The only two sports the NCAA actually cares about are Mens D1 FBS football and Mens D1 Basketball.

        • Yeah, hockey is really expensive to start up. And its probably not a revenue generator like football and basketball. Those sports also benefit from being the de facto minor leagues for the NFL and NBA, while hockey (and baseball) is not. But college hockey is growing, and hockey in general is growing outside of the cores of Great Lakes and New England. What better way to instantly grow the fan base than to bring in schools that already have large, enthusiastic alumni networks that will consume another major sport? Won’t happen overnight. In some cases, you may need a Pegula equivalent to help get it off the ground.

  2. This actually may be a good thing for the WCHA in the long run. Trips to Alaska schools put a financial strain on the rest of the conference, especially with also having to travel to UAH.. A smaller WCHA with less travel costs probably would make the league more competitive as the better players that would otherwise go to the Alaska schools will probably transfer to another WCHA school. Neither Alaska school has been competitive outside the WCHA in quite some time and probably never will be as its hard to recruit good players to go up there with little to no national exposure.

    • Its makes me feel bad for Fairbanks they were doing well their first year in the new leauge but then they got slapped with some unfairly harsh sanctions by the NCAA for a minor scholarship error which they self reported.

  3. It’s not understandable at all when the State of Alaska has $54,000,000,000 in reserve originally intended to cover budget shortfalls like when their main revenue source (Oil) hits bottom. They’re demanding the universitys cut 50 million dollars in order to help cover a 3.2 billion dollar shortfall? It’s politics and nothing more. It’s also typical of Alaska lawmakers to create panic in things the public wants in order to score political points with their base. The most likely outcome here is that some compromise is reached which isn’t any of the current recommendations. Also, anyone already dancing on the graves of these programs because they see some perceived benefit for the WCHA is a twat.

    • I hope you’re right, I would hate to see either of these programs gone from college hockey. However, I would rather see a Pacific Coast League in the future, with these schools, Arizona State, and some more Pac-12 schools. You’d think Washington would being looking into a program, anyway. I also think that Western Michigan and Miami would be better off in the WCHA.


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