The name of the new addition to the Cyclone Hockey staff may look familiar to fans. Shaun Gibbons recently became the second assistant coach. The other is his older brother Brian Gibbons, who joined Cyclone Hockey last year.
Head Coach and General Manager Jason Fairman is optimistic about what Shaun brings to the coaching staff.
“We’re excited to have him on staff, and he’s already proven he’s got great work ethic,” Fairman said. “He’s been a great addition to the staff, and I couldn’t be more excited with the two new assistants that we’ve got in place this year.”
Shaun is originally from Temple Hills, Maryland, a city just outside of Washington D.C. He started playing hockey when he was about 5 years old. Shaun said it has been hockey ever since.
This led him to play collegiate hockey at Utah State University, an American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division II member. Shaun became an Aggie for the 2012-13 season. Brian was also on the team that year, his second season as an Aggie. Brian then went to play overseas in Germany.
“Brian and I have a really good relationship,” Shaun said. “We’ve always been in contact with each other when he was overseas playing and I was still in Utah and just having us be together again is a really good thing for us.”
Shaun continued playing at Utah State before he became an assistant coach for the 2017-18 season. Shaun served as an assistant coach at Utah State until he accepted the position with Cyclone Hockey in February.
The operations of Cyclone Hockey are not new to Shaun. Even before Brian started as an assistant, Shaun was aware of the program.
“Even when I played, I knew about Iowa State’s hockey,” Shaun said. “I know that the culture’s always been great here. They’ve always had very good teams, and I saw an opportunity to come in and try to help out and try to be a part of that culture as well.”
Cyclone Hockey operates a little different than other teams, according to Fairman. It requires a business aspect that extends passed the typical working hours of a day in addition to the hockey aspect. Fairman said close to 200 people contribute to Cyclone Hockey in one way or another, but the day-to-day operations fall on the coaching staff.
In looking for a matching work ethic and philosophy, Fairman said the initial search was a bit of a challenge. Through interviewing Shaun and hearing Brian’s opinion — something Fairman has come to value — Fairman saw Shaun as the right fit.
Fairman is pleased with Brian’s work in the past year, and the thought of bringing on a similar person is something Fairman could not pass up.
“Not only do we have a good working relationship, we have a good personal relationship, and it makes it fun to come to the office every day,” Fairman said. “I’m just really excited for the future working with Brian and Shaun — the brothers.”