MUSKEGON, Michigan (December 20th) – The Muskegon Lumberjacks have announced the hiring of former Indiana Ice Head Coach and General Manager Ron Gay to be an Assistant Coach for the organization.
Gay, the South Buffalo, New York native, lived in Lansing, Michigan for 13 years and served some of his time while in the state’s capital as the Hockey Director for the Capital Centre Pride Hockey Club and being the Head Coach for their AAA Under-18 program.
“It is always nice to come back to Michigan and work with the best junior program in the state,” said Gay. “The USHL is a great league to be a part of, and when the Lumberjacks approached me about coaching in their organization, I could not pass up on the opportunity.”
“Ron (Gay) is an experienced guy that has exceptional knowledge of the league and loves to coach and develop young talent,” said Lumberjacks Head Coach Jim McKenzie. “It is great to have him back coaching in the USHL and is a great addition to the organization on and off the ice.”
Gay has also coached Lumberjacks of past and present that includes current Lumberjacks Forward Mason Jobst (Speedway, Indiana) and former Lumberjack and current Michigan State freshman Defenseman Travis Walsh and has been a big influence in the Michigan State Spartan hockey community on and off the ice.
“I have watched Ron Gay coach Travis (Walsh) and go through the Pee Wee, Bantam, and Midget ranks, and he is the best minor hockey coach I have ever seen,” said Lumberjacks Senior Advisor Ron Mason. “Ron (Gay) is an excellent teacher and understands the game well. He is a tremendous addition to the program that will be a great complement to Jim (McKenzie).”
In the offseason, Gay also helps out many NHL players train for the upcoming hockey season that also served some time the USHL at some point in their junior careers. Gay has trained players with the likes of Justin Abdelkader, Jeff Petry, Torey Krug, and Matt Greene.
“It is a pleasure to have Ron Gay be a part of the Muskegon Lumberjacks organization because he is an excellent teacher of the game that will help mold our players into outstanding citizens on and off the ice,” said Lumberjacks Owner, CEO, and General Manager Josh Mervis. “Ron (Gay) is an unbelievable skills coach that has helped Lumberjacks players of past and present. He is the perfect complement to Head Coach Jim McKenzie and the rest of the Lumberjacks organization.”
Gay served two years in the Indiana Ice organization starting off as the team’s skills development coach while being the head coach for the Indiana Jr. Ice Under-18 Team. Gay was promoted to Assistant Coach of the USHL Indiana Ice last January before becoming the Head Coach and General Manager of the team in May. Gay stepped down from the Ice in early December.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)