Activities Director Don Donarski sent out an email Wednesday evening announcing that the 2002 CHS grad has verbally accepted the position.

Joel Gasper has been selected as the new head coach of Crookston Pirate Boys' Hockey.

"Obviously I am extremely excited to say the least," Gasper told the Times. "It's great to hear the selection committee believes in me and my philosophies and where I can take the program to."

Gasper said he always saw himself coaching the Pirates one day.

"It's shoes I expected to see myself in at some point," he said. "It feels like a dream come true. It's great to be part of a program that I believe in so much."

Activities Director Don Donarski sent out an email Wednesday evening announcing that Gasper has verbally accepted the position.

"Following the interviews of the candidates for the Boy's Head Hockey position, the committee agreed to offer the position to Joel Gasper," Donarski's email read. "Joel has verbally accepted the position. He is eager to start the process of selecting his assistant coaches."

Gasper gives lots of credit to his predecessor, Jon Bittner.

 "I'd like to thank Jon Bittner, who gave me the opportunity to come on staff last year," Gasper said. "He played an integral part in this. And also thank you for the support of members of the community. And thank you to my players from last year. I am especially excited to work with them."

The hire will become official following the school board's approval at its next meeting.

"On behalf of the committee I would like to thank Tim Moe and Tim Madigan for taking the time to interview," Donarski said.

Gasper graduated from Crookston High School in 2002 and was the Crookston junior varsity boys' hockey coach this past season. He played Division I hockey at Robert Morris University near Pittsburgh, Pa. before playing four seasons of minor professional hockey in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), International Hockey League (IHL) and Central Hockey League (CHL).