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Chamber to honor Gervais

Published 10:42am Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Joe Gervais, a 1984 Fergus Falls High School graduate and one of five 2013 inductees into the Chamber of Commerce Sports Hall of Fame, earned 10 varsity letters in hockey (4), football (3), golf (2) and baseball (1).

Gervais, who will be honored with other inductees at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at the American Legion, was a co-captain of both the football and hockey teams.

The Otter football team earned a 16-3 record during his two years as starting quarterback, including a berth in the 1982 Minnesota state Class AA playoff. The Otter hockey team was ranked among the top Minnesota high school teams during much of the 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons.

As a defenseman, Gervais was a Section 8 Honorable Mention and Mariucci Conference All-Conference selection during his senior season. Salutatorian of his class, Gervais was named the FFHS male student-athlete of the year.

Gervais went on to the University of Vermont on a hockey scholarship in 1984, where he was a four-year letter winner for coach Mike Gilligan. He was a senior on the team when the Catamounts earned their first-ever NCAA Division I national tournament berth in 1988.

After graduating from UVM, Gervais spent four years teaching English and coaching several sports at Choate Rosemary Hall prep school in Connecticut. He coached many future collegiate hockey and football student-athletes, and is especially proud of their New England Prep School football championship in 1990.

Gervais returned to UVM in 1992 to serve as an assistant coach with the men’s ice hockey program and earn his Master’s Degree in Education. Highlights of his collegiate coaching career include two trips to the NCAA Division I tournament, including a Frozen Four appearance in 1996. These teams were led by future Stanley Cup champions and NHL award winners Martin St. Louis, Eric Perrin and Tim Thomas.

Gervais continues to serve his alma mater as Associate Director of Athletics for Student-Athlete Development. He oversees academic support, educational programming, NCAA eligibility and compliance and athletic performance initiatives for the Catamounts.

He lives in Colchester, Vermont, with his wife Patti, and their children Josh (17) and Rachel (14), who both excel in the sport of lacrosse.

“I well remember the many teammates and coaches who contributed to the Otters’ successes during my time in Fergus Falls,” he said. “I’m especially grateful to my parents, Barney and Janet, and my seven siblings for their guidance and support.”

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