Despite what he describes as “a great experience with the Tampa Bay Lightning over the past couple seasons,” the second of which culminated in a Stanley Cup Finals appearance, new Valor Christian hockey head coach and two-time national champion coach at the University of Denver George Gwozdecky knows that the greatest impact he can have is with young men, not just on the ice, but in their daily lives as well.

The legendary coach joined Gil Whiteley on Mile High Sports AM 1340 just days after it was announced that he is taking the reins of a Valor Christian program that is seeking to have the same impact on the ice as they have had on the football field and have begun to show on the lacrosse field.

Gwozdecky joins a list of Valor coaches with elite backgrounds, most notably alongside lacrosse headman John Grant Jr., arguably one of the greatest lacrosse players of all time. Many followers of college hockey would say that Gwozdecky should occupy a spot on the short list of the best to ever coach at the collegiate level.

And while Gwozdecky might have been on the path to a head man’s job at the highest level, he revealed in the interview with Whiteley that the best course of action for himself personally was to take a step into his own backyard (almost quite literally) as the head coach at Valor. The move may well be the best thing for the game of hockey as a whole, not just for Gwozdecky personally.

“Gwoz” as he’s affectionately known, brings a wisdom and humility to the job that will serve the program and its players well for as long as the coach is willing to share his extraordinary experience. Hear the full breadth of his plans for the future in the interview below.

Catch Gil Whiteley every weekday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Mile High Sports AM 1340 or Listen Live any time for the best local coverage of your favorite Colorado sports.