Gilmour Names Boys Prep Hockey Head Coach
GATES MILLS, Ohio June 22—Scott Stirling, former assistant coach at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) and a professional hockey player for eight years, will be the new Boys Prep Hockey head coach at Gilmour Academy. Stirling replaces Mike McNeill who stepped down after six seasons to be Gilmour’s arena operations manager, a full-time position.
“Hiring Scott is a strong indication of how far our program has come and where it’s headed,” says John Malloy, director of ice programs at Gilmour and head coach of the Boys Varsity Hockey team. “Coach Stirling’s tremendous hockey background and experience is just the tip of the iceberg in what he brings to Gilmour. As mentor, I believe the great things he will bring to the team on the ice and off will foster each player’s personal growth.”
Stirling most recently served as the assistant men’s hockey coach at BGSU, an NCAA Division I school. This past season he focused on forwards and goaltenders helping improve the team’s goalie save percentage from .840 to .896. As academic coordinator, the team had a grade point average of 3.11 while under his supervision. Stirling also spent a year as an assistant for his alma mater Brown University, where he coached the team’s starting goalie to a .933 save percentage.
“The opportunity to be a head coach was extremely intriguing,” says Stirling about his move from the collegiate arena to the high school level. “The Gilmour program has received much exposure and the opportunity to travel still exists. More importantly, there is the ability to help the players move on to the next level.”
Playing at the next level is something quite familiar to Stirling. As a player at Brown, the Hull, Mass., native was named Second-Team All-Ivy in both 1999 and 2000, and was also a two-time Academic All-Ivy honoree, earning Academic All-ECAC as a senior in 2000. Today, he remains in the top 10 among statistical leaders in several goaltending categories at the season and career levels having amassed 1,958 saves with three shutouts and a .906 save percentage in his career.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 17, 2010
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After graduating from Brown with a degree in economics and organizational behavior and management, Stirling began his professional hockey career with the Trenton Titans in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). In his rookie season, he was named ECHL Goalie of the Year, Rookie of the Year and First-Team All-ECHL. He went on to play for the ECHL’s Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies and Fresno Falcons, the AHL’s Worcester Ice Cats, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Portland Pirates and San Antonio Rampage and the United Hockey League (UHL) Danbury Thrashers, earning such honors as ECHL Most Valuable Player, as well as additional ECHL Goalie of the Year and First-Team All-ECHL accolades. He concluded his professional career in the Norwegian Elite Hockey League with Valerenga Ice Hockey Club during the 2007-08 season.
Stirling inherits a top prep program from McNeil that last season achieved its best record of 41-11-5 earning it the Midwest Prep Hockey League (MPHL) regular season championship. Thirteen of McNeil’s players continued their hockey careers at NCAA Division I level schools such as Brown, Cornell, Ohio State and the United States Military Academy while many others went on to play collegiate hockey.
“Over the last 13 years, Gilmour has emerged as a major player in the prep school hockey world in part due to our tremendous facilities with easy access for our players,” Malloy says. “But the Gilmour community and the school’s culture is the real driving force for our success. We’ve had amazing coaches who have personalized the hockey experience for our student-athletes.”
Stirling and his wife, Heather, have three daughters. He is the son of Steve Stirling, former head coach of the New York Islanders.
Gilmour Academy is a Catholic, independent, coeducational, college-preparatory school. It is sponsored by the Brothers of Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Ind., and offers a Montessori preschool program and traditional Kindergarten through Grade 12. A boarding program is offered to students in Grades 7 through 12. The athletic program is one of the most comprehensive in the state of Ohio, offering 22 varsity sports (11 for boys and 11 for girls) with the only girls prep hockey team in the state. That total expands to 61 teams with the addition of junior varsity, freshmen and middle school teams. More than 70 percent of students participate in at least one sport out of the variety offered.