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February 2013

Coach Gilbert Rides Off Into the Sunset, Forever a Lunatic

Ron and Ric

Four hockey players stand in the parking lot of a visiting facility, holding their bag and dressed in their road attire of khakis and polo shirts. In the middle of the group, is a man in a dress shirt and slack, fiddling with his neck tie and making all kinds of noises closely associated with frustration. A 5th member of the visiting team approaches and the man in the dress shirt states the following, “(Brian) Duchesne, you’re the captain, tie this (expletive) thing for me!!!”, as the group busts out in laughter.

The man in the dress shirt is the Head Coach of the Harrisburg Lunatics Pro and Minor teams, Ron Gilbert and this scene (which is completely 110% true) took place as the minor league Tics were about to embark on a two game set in Pottstown with Team Blue back in mid-October. Normally, a coach is kind of estranged from players in a way. For the most part they tend to be older than most of the players and don’t tend to hang with them in social situations. Coach Gilbert is the obvious exception to this stereotype. Always traveling to away games with players, joking around, Coach is a different sort, and his players respect him for it. Ron is coming to the end of his second season as the man in charge and will lead the Pro troops into the PIHA playoffs this weekend at the Inline Skating Club of America in New Jersey. The Tics are looking for a long playoff run with Ron at the helm, especially because once this season comes to an end, so will Ron’s tenure as head coach.

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