A passion to compete and to win is what drives defenseman Kevin Gibson of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point men’s hockey team.
“He’s a gamer and loves to win,” head coach Chris Brooks said. “He has been a big part of our program.”
Gibson is a playmaker on the blue line for the Pointers this season. He leads all defenseman for points scored in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with 22 points, tallying four goals and 18 assists.
The competitiveness that drives Gibson may come from his genes since he is the son of Kirk Gibson, former professional baseball player and manager. Hockey stood out to Gibson as a kid and eventually became his passion.
“I was the first one in my family to want to play hockey,” Gibson said. “Being from metro Detroit and watching the Red Wings, I kept asking my mom a million times to play until she finally let me play.”
Despite playing hockey, Gibson said he gets advice from his dad, but jokes that his dad may not understand hockey as well as he thinks.
“He thinks he knows a lot of what is going on ,” Gibson said
Brooks believes Gibson’s competitiveness on the ice comes from his family.
“A lot it comes from how he is raised and how they love to win,” Brooks said. “He has a swagger that makes him successful.”
As a junior, Gibson was First Team All-WIAC and is sure to be in contention for the same honor this season. Gibson is second on the team in points, sixth among all WIAC players and credits his success to his teammates.
“I have a lot of talent ahead of me,” Gibson said. “I’m a pass-first guy, so I try and get the puck to those skilled forwards in front me, and they take it from there.”
Within the last two years, the Pointers hockey team has become one of the best teams in the nation and Gibson has been a part of it from the first day.
“The culture has changed with a lot of success,” Gibson said. “It has been quite the transition with a lot of positive change.”
Gibson’s first year at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point was also the first year for Brooks, who enjoys seeing players like Gibson progress.
”He is best when he is on his toes and thinking one step ahead of everyone else,” Brooks said. “Kevin has an excellent mind which makes him a threat on the ice.
” This is why I like coaching college players; to make an impact on people,” Brooks said. “Kevin has been a key guy for us and it is nice to see him take on responsibilities.”
Prior to the season, the team elected Gibson to be the new assistant captain. He said he loves the responsibility of that role. When it comes to leading, Gibson says he is more vocal than the quiet lead-by-example type.
With his UWSP hockey career ending, Gibson said his favorite moments have been overtime wins and pink games, but with the postseason in sight, Gibson has one goal in mind.
“I’d trade all the awards away for a national title,” Gibson said.