The new recruit

 

Gary Gray started his new job last September as athletic director and chief cheerleader for 10 Nanook teams.

Originally from eastern Canada, Gray has spent most of his professional life as a college faculty member and administrator in the western United States, including Oregon, Iowa and Montana. He served as the athletic director at Montana State University Billings for 18 years before coming to UAF.

Sporting man

Volleyball iconTried out for the Canadian Olympic volleyball team
Baseball iconHuge Red Sox fan
Hiker iconHas hiked almost all 700 miles of the Beartooth Mountains’ trails
Maple Leaf icon Started playing hockey at age 4 (he is Canadian, after all)

New north I like change. I was not bored at my old job. I just wanted some new challenges. I wanted to continue living in a beautiful part of the country, and Alaska fits the bill for wonderful quality of life.

Old north [The Patty Gym’s] original old wooden bleachers are very challenging and not real comfortable. We’d been told maybe we could sand [the gym floor] down one more time. This building’s 50 years old, and that’s not going to change.

Fans in the stands We want the game environment to be positive and inviting and comfortable and a great place for people to come.

Headstrong We have some student-athletes who are just the cream of the crop academically, very high grade point averages, 3.8s, 3.9s, etc.

In good company It’s no small accident that there’s over a thousand institutional members of the NCAA. People understand what intercollegiate athletics, particularly NCAA athletics, brings to a campus, a community, to the individuals.

Disappearing act If we didn’t have an athletic program there would be a lot of young men and women who would not
have the value of getting an education at UAF because they would not be here.

Steady growth The key word is balance. You come as an 18-year-old, you leave as a young adult, college educated, degree in hand, career in mind, and you understand what you can contribute. That’s a very, very important and exciting thing to balance.

Nanook logo-anme
  • Div. I — Western Collegiate Hockey Association (beg. 2013 – 2014): Men’s hockey
  • Div. II — Great Northwest Athletic Conference: Men’s & women’s basketball • Men’s & women’s cross country • Women’s volleyball
  • Open: Men’s & women’s rifle
  • Central Collegiate Ski Assoc.: Men’s & women’s skiing
  • Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference: Women’s swimming
 

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