The 21st century has been quite kind to Bill Gerosa, boys hockey coach at Notre Dame-West Haven the past 15 seasons.
Highlighted by a pair of Division I state titles in 2002 and 2012, the Green Knights’ winning tradition has continued and prospered under the tutelage of Gerosa. On Thursday, the cerebral coach, a longtime student of the game who always tried to think two steps ahead of the coach on the other bench, decided to step down and retire from the sport he dearly loves after 45 years.
“It was time,” said Gerosa, 68, who resides in Hamden. “I almost did it last year. But I had such a great group of kids coming back I decided to go one more season.
“It’s time for me to do something different. I really don’t want to get up at 5 a.m. anymore.”
Gerosa will also be retiring as an English teacher at Notre Dame — a position he held there for 14 years after teaching English at Hamden High for 31 years.
He began his coaching career as the youth coach in the Yale Youth Hockey organization in the 1970s. He eventually reached the high school ranks when he was named the Guilford boys hockey coach in 1987 and coached there until the 1995-96 season. He won a Division II state title at Guilford in 1993-94.
In the summer of 1993 he also helped the late and former Yale men’s hockey coach Tim Taylor as an assistant with the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team that trained at the Champions Skating Center in Cromwell. Taylor was named coach of the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team that competed in 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway. Gerosa did not make the trip to Norway due to teaching responsibilities at Hamden High.
Gerosa was an assistant coach for the Fairfield University men’s hockey team in the 1996-97 season and became the Notre Dame-West Haven coach in 1998-99.
Gerosa ends his tenure with the Notre Dame hockey team with an impressive 215-115-10 record.
“I had a great experience at Notre Dame, but I need to do other things even though I don’t know what those other things are right now,” said Gerosa, who graduated from Hamden in 1962 but never played for the varsity hockey team. “I do know I want to spend more time with my grandkids.”
A spokesman from Notre Dame said the boys hockey coaching job will be posted in a day or two and a search process would begin.