Jacks name Gatto head coach and Holt team president
May 15, 2014
Odessa Jackalopes head coach Greg Gatto.
By Joey Battaino, Odessa Jackalopes
The Odessa Jackalopes, members of the North American Hockey League, are proud to announce Greg Gatto as the team’s third head coach since the team’s transition from pro hockey to juniors. Gatto was hired on an interim basis back on February 28 after Matt Cressman was dismissed from the team. The Jacks finished 2-7-1 under Gatto, but ownership liked the direction in which the team was headed.
“We wanted to give Gatts an opportunity to see what he has. That way he would be able to evaluate where we are at the end of the season,” Said Jacks owner Adam Doyle. “We like the direction the team is going with Greg. He was a hard-nosed player, with a ton of heart and character. That’s the kind of player we want here,”
Now in 2014-15, Gatto has a young, but somewhat experienced group of players.
“We are looking to bring about eight to ten kids back from last season’s roster,” Said Coach Gatto. “We are excited about the kids we have brought in to complement our returning players. With Yoshi aging out, our goaltending position is a three-horse race.”
Also announced today was the hiring of Team President David Holt. Holt brings a wealth of experience with him to Odessa spending of 13 years in professional sports as a managing executive in advertising and marketing.
Holt began his career in 1999 with the Oklahoma City Blazers of the Central Hockey League as Director of Group Sales. The Blazers lead all of minor league hockey in attendance from 1999-2003 under Holt’s watch.
In 2005, Holt was named Vice President of Sales with Bricktown Media in Oklahoma City where his creation of the new “transportation” division saw the company grow over the million dollar division within two years.
Since 2009, Holt has been in private business as an entrepreneur and owns two companies in Oklahoma City as well as served as General Manager of the Bloomington Blaze in the Central Hockey League.
Holt is looking forward to a new challenge in Odessa.
“We are in a unique situation here (in Odessa). The market is great right now and we need to capitalize on that,” said Holt. “We need to be in the community much more than we were in the past so that we can connect with our fan base and continue to grow our product,”
Holt takes over for Dan Lavergne, who has left the team to pursue other career opportunities.