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All in the Family

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The question from his daughter Kelly stumped Dartmouth men's ice hockey Head Coach Bob Gaudet '81. What do sons Joey Gaudet '10, a forward for the Big Green, and Jimmy Gaudet '12, a defenseman, call him around their teammates?


Men's ice hockey Head Coach Bob Gaudet '81 (center) with his players-and sons-Joey '10 (left) and Jimmy '12. Of playing together, Jimmy says, "Joey gives me a few pointers here and there, but mostly I just try to emulate my brother's work ethic." As of press time, the team was 12-8-3 and 3-4-1 Ivy for the season. (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)
"I think they just tap me on the shoulder," Gaudet says with his usual easy chuckle. "I honestly don't know. They can't say, 'Hey Dad, what do we do on the forecheck?' "

It might have been easier if the brothers, born 18 months apart, skated for another school, or schools. Then again, it might not.

"The biggest advantage is that my father knows how I play and what I'm capable of, but also knows what I need to work on to improve," says Jimmy.

"It's worked out great," adds Joey, though he admits he sometimes needs to remind himself to "forget that he's my dad and accept what he's saying because he knows what he's doing."

When Joey was considering colleges, Bob consulted with Billy Cleary, who had coached his own son at Harvard. Bob has since been asked for his counsel and it echoes that of the Crimson legend. "I've told people if you have the chance, it's an unbelievable opportunity. That's what Cleary told me and he was right. Would it be easier if the family dynamic wasn't there? Sometimes. But then I wouldn't have had the chance to be around them as much or see them play and progress during their careers."

Apart from hockey, Bob and wife Lynne Gaudet '81, who works in Alumni Relations, are thrilled their sons are sharing the same kind of experiences they valued as undergraduates at Dartmouth.

"When Joey decided this was what he wanted to do I wasn't going to stand in his way," Bob says. "Dartmouth was a life-changing experience for Lynne and me."

Joey was Dartmouth's second-leading goal scorer last season, and Jimmy has been skating a regular shift on defense in his first season. Not that there haven't been occasional bumps in the ice.

"Coaching them has been an absolute blessing, but that doesn't mean it goes along swimmingly," Bob says. "There are times when you have to make that tough call, and it's a hockey coaching call. I have to make sure I'm not too tough on them, or too easy, although I think you tend to be a little tougher.

"It works because they are good kids. They know what they need to do. I'm glad the relationship is there, that the kids wanted to do it, and that they respect the fact they are just two of the boys on the team."


The Gaudet brothers aren't the only siblings on Dartmouth's varsity teams this year.  Others include:

  • Margaret '10 and Brittney '11 Smith—basketball
  • Alex '11 and Zack '12 Wodka—football
  • Matt '10 and Brad '12 Dornak—football
  • Sharon '09 and Erin '11 Dauson—crew
  • Hannah '09 and Emily '11 Dreissigacker—skiing and crew, respectively
  • Twins Chris '11 and Christina '11 Alexander—men's and women's track
  • Twins Elizabeth '12 and Alex '12 Kamai—women's and men's swimming
  • Chris '10 and Tim '12 Root—lacrosse

The brother act of brother acts at Dartmouth was the Palmers. Although they didn't overlap, Walter '90, Crawford '93, and Asa '98 all served as men's basketball captains.

Sons playing for their fathers is unusual, but not unprecedented at Dartmouth. Among others, Tommy Clark '92, DMS '01, played soccer for father Bobby Clark and Toby Julian '56 played basketball for father Doggie (Alvin) Julian.

Few Dartmouth teams have had the kind of sibling connections the women's lacrosse squad has enjoyed in recent years with Katy '02 and Lizzy '06 Cuneo, Amy '01 and Kristen '06 Zimmer, Lana '04 and Andrea '06 Smith, and overlapping next year, Eliza '10 and Courtney '13 Bennett.

In addition to Chris and Christina Alexander '11 and Elizabeth and Alex Kamai '12, recent twins playing together included field hockey standouts Lauren and Kristen Scopaz '00, football players Kyle and Matt  Schroeder '00, and tennis players Danielle and Jennifer Murray '09.

(Source: Dartmouth Athletics Sports Information)

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Last Updated: 1/19/10