Family Matters: Hartford Coach Opts to Step Down

Valley News Sports Editor
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

White River Junction — Hartford High School will soon begin the search for the third head girls hockey coach in program history after the second, Marc Gattie, stepped down from the job on Tuesday.

Hartford athletic director Jeff Moreno, in a news release, said Gattie submitted his resignation in order to “spend more time with his growing family.”

“My wife and I have talked a lot about it since my son was born at the end of the hockey season two years ago,” Gattie said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “Last year was tough on both of them. ... I kind of had to make a hard decision. When it comes down to it, I need to choose family first.”

The all-time leading scorer in Lebanon High boys hockey history and a member of Mercyhurst University’s club program in college, Gattie took over for Hartford’s only previous girls hockey coach, Nelson Fogg, prior to the 2013-14 season. Gattie was one of Fogg’s assistant coaches before moving up.

Hartford went 30-48-6 with Gattie at the helm. Last winter’s team posted a 5-13-4 mark, losing to Rice in the Vermont Division II quarterfinals, the first time the Hurricanes had gone that deep into the tournament under Gattie’s guidance.

Hartford has had to rely on the Vermont Principals Association’s member-to-member program to fill its roster in recent years, and Gattie sees the program having a role in forming Hurricane fortunes. The Canes have had as many as five girls from outside the district on the team; Hartford had two last winter, from Windsor and Sharon.

Hartford also has good numbers on its own, Gattie added, saying the Upper Valley Hockey Association is likely to sponsor girls hockey at the youth level next winter after not supporting it in the last.

“The numbers have been strong the last couple of years,” he said. “We’re losing only one senior. I felt like it was a good time to move on, if I was going to.”

The Hartford girls job is the second high school hockey coaching position to open up since the close of the campaign last month. Lebanon High is in the process of choosing a replacement for another former LHS skater, Gary Smith, who stepped down from the boys job at the end of March to assume the reins of the Dartmouth men’s club program.

Moreno indicated a search will begin immediately for the Canes’ next coach.

Greg Fennell can be reached at gfennell@vnews.com or 603-727-3226.