Odessa Jackalopes Coach Legacy: Building a Strong Hockey Program

Odessa Jackalopes

The Odessa Jackalopes is a professional ice hockey team based in Odessa, Texas. They compete in the North American Hockey League (HL) and have been a dominant force in the league since their inception in 1997. Over the years, the team has had many talented players and coaches, but one name stands out as the most influential in shaping the team – Coach Greg Gatto.

Coach Gatto took over the Jackalopes in 2018 and has been leading the team to success ever since. His leadership and experience have had a tremendous impact on the program, both on and off the ice. In this article, we will take a closer look at his legacy and how it has shaped the Odessa Jackalopes.

Building a Winning Culture

Coach Gatto is known for his emphasis on building a winning culture within the team. He believes that a strong team culture is the foundation for success, and it all starts with the players and coaching staff. From day one, he instilled a winning mindset in his team, pushing them to always give their best on and off the ice.

Under Coach Gatto’s leadership, the Jackalopes have made it to the playoffs every year, and in the 2019-2020 season, they became the HL South Division Champions. This success is a testament to the winning culture that Gatto has built within the team.

Developing Future Stars

One of Coach Gatto’s strengths is his ability to develop young players and turn them into future stars. The Jackalopes have had many players go on to play college and professional hockey, thanks to Gatto’s guidance and coaching.

For example, in the 2020-2021 season, three players from the Jackalopes were selected in the National Hockey League (NHL) Draft, including their captain, Jack Musa. Gatto’s commitment to developing players both on and off the ice has earned him a reputation as one of the top coaches in the HL.

Community Involvement

Beyond leading the team to success, Coach Gatto has also made a significant impact on the Odessa community. He understands the importance of giving back and has encouraged his players to be actively involved in community service projects.

Under his guidance, the team has participated in numerous charitable events, such as fundraising for local organizations and visiting sick children in hospitals. This level of community involvement has not only helped build a positive image of the team but has also made a difference in the lives of those they have reached out to.

Impact on Players’ Lives

Apart from his coaching achievements, one of the most significant impacts of Coach Gatto’s legacy is the influence he has had on his players’ lives. Many past and current players have spoken highly of his mentorship and guidance, both on and off the ice.

Coach Gatto has been a mentor, father figure, and friend to his players. His dedication to developing not only their hockey skills but also their character and values has left a lasting impression on them. Many players credit him for their growth and success, both on the ice and in their personal lives.

Closing considerations

Coach Greg Gatto’s legacy with the Odessa Jackalopes is one of excellence and success. He has built a winning culture, developed future stars, and made a positive impact on the community and his players’ lives. Under his leadership, the team has become a force to be reckoned with in the HL and has gained a reputation as one of the top teams in the league.

The impact of his leadership will continue to be felt by the Odessa Jackalopes for years to come. Coach Gatto’s passion for the sport of hockey, dedication to developing young players, and commitment to giving back to the community have made him an invaluable asset to the team. He truly embodies what it means to be a successful coach and leader, and his legacy will continue to inspire generations of players to come.


Odessa Jackalopes,

Hockey Team,

Coach Greg Gatto.