Onward To Victory provides a look back at the history of Notre Dame Hockey and behind-the-scenes access to the Fighting Irish as they prepare for the Compton Family Ice Arena dedication game against rival Boston College.
Dave Gilbert enters his 16th season as equipment manager at the University of Notre Dame — and he is no stranger to head coach Jeff Jackson.
One of the premier equipment specialists in college hockey, Gilbert was a member of Jackson’s 1991-92 NCAA title team as a walk-on goaltender at Lake Superior State. The Marquette, Michigan, native served as a backup to a pair of eventual NHL goaltenders – Darrin Madeley and Blaine Lacher – during that championship season.
During his final four years as an undergraduate, Gilbert worked for the Lakers’ hockey program as a student equipment manager. In that capacity, he was associated with the NCAA runner-up squad in 1992-93, the NCAA championship team of ’93-’94, and two other teams that reached the NCAA quarterfinals (’94-’95 and ’95-’96).
Gilbert’s year-long responsibilities involve overseeing the equipment and travel needs of the Irish hockey program. He graduated from Lake Superior State in May 1996 with a degree in exercise science and he remained for the next two years as the head equipment manager for the school’s 11 varsity sports.
During his time with the Lakers’ hockey program, Gilbert was associated with several individuals who remain active in hockey at other levels. Gilbert served under head equipment manager Paul Boyer at Lake Superior State in ’92-’93, with Boyer now holding the position of head equipment manager for the Detroit Red Wings. Besides being reunited with Jackson in `05-’06, Gilbert also rejoined associate head coach Paul Pooley who also was a member of Jackson’s staff at Lake Superior State from 1992-94 while Gilbert played and worked for the Lakers.
During the summer of 2005, Gilbert was a member of the equipment staff at USA Hockey’s Junior National Team tryout camp, held in Lake Placid, N.Y.
At the hockey team’s 2009 postseason awards program, Gilbert was selected to receive the team’s Honorary Alumni Award that is presented each year to a person who, while not an alumus of the program, made major contributions due to his affiliation with the hockey program.
Gilbert, and his wife Heather have one son, Dolan (13), and a daughter, Halle (12). They reside in South Bend.