You could say that Avon Old Farms coach John Gardner has been around the game for a while.
Gardner, 67, has been coaching at Avon Old Farms since the 1975-76 season, when he took over a developing team and turned it into a perennial contender in New England prep hockey.
After starting in March 1975, he took on coaching the baseball team, having been a former college player. During his early days at Avon, he also coached the football team, having playing experience there as well. But his greatest success has come as a coach and builder of the hockey program. A former goaltender with Weslyan, as a coach Gardner has won eight New England Division 1 championships and nine Founders League championships, all since 1989. His 700th win as a prep coach came in January 2015, and he's now at 785.