Friar Men's Ice Hockey
Providence College School of Business
A sudden coaching change reopened the college search process for Garrett Gamez ’19 (Chino Hills, Calif.), who was ready to enroll at another university. A highly touted hockey recruit, Garrett was certainly checking out the various rinks and player development facilities as he toured colleges and universities looking for a new home. But, he also knew that he would most likely thrive at a smaller school that offered the opportunity to form meaningful relationships with professors.
Additionally, from the time he was a child growing up outside of Los Angeles, Garrett always had a strong faith presence around him to rely upon for guidance and wanted that kind of environment in college. Though his transient hockey life had brought him from the West Coast to the Midwest, it was finally on the East Coast — at Providence College — where he found that he could comfortably combine both athletics and his spiritual life.
Regardless of where in the country Garrett has been, the game of hockey and his faith in God have been two constants. His decision to enroll at PC made it easy to continue to develop both of these pursuits. PC’s state-of-the-art training and sports medicine facilities and a newly renovated Schneider Arena gave him confidence that he would have the opportunity as a member of the Friars to prepare for a potential career in the NHL. An evangelical Christian, he also has found that being at an institution that is built upon a belief in God has served him well. He credits Campus Ministry for supporting all students looking to grow in their faith and enjoys seeing students of all different backgrounds evolve in their understanding of their respective faiths and treasures the conversations and debates that he has had with classmates, teammates, and professors.
Garrett believes that God blesses people with the ability to do great things and, for him, that gift is hockey. He notes that his life is not all hockey, but rather, that hockey is how he serves God within his life. It is a blessing and a gift, and he constantly works his hardest to improve his skills and serve God.
Hockey and his faith are not the only things he is improving at Providence, however. Garrett is also taking majors in two disciplines, accountancy and finance, through the School of Business. By no means is this challenge an independent venture, points out Garrett. He credits and praises the professors who have reached out to him and supported his goals, like Margaret Ruggieri, an accountancy professor who worked with him to stay on track when he underwent an unexpected surgery last spring.
Aside from his business studies, he said the Development of Western Civilization Program has allowed him to learn about the background of other faiths, supporting his convictions. Equally as important, he is heartened by the attention the entire College community — including his teammates, professors, and classmates — has given to helping students grow and evolve in their understanding of their own faith lives.
Friars’ Men’s Hockey Head Coach Nate Leaman said “Garrett is an outstanding teammate. He’s the type of player that anyone on our team would go through a wall for because they recognize that he would do the same for them. Separate from his hockey skills, what he has brought as a person to the culture of our program can’t be measured. You win championships with teammates like Garrett.”
While Garrett has his hopes set on a 10-year professional hockey career after he leaves PC, he is already realizing that he will be prepared for life beyond hockey long after he hangs up his skates. He is convinced that the next three years will be filled with constant support as he strengthens his business skills, his faith, and his slap shot.