Chris Gaul hired as new varsity esports coach, compliance coordinator for fall 2020 semester

2018 Allegheny College graduate hopes to develop 'esports powerhouse'

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Written By Allison Schubert, Sports Editor

The Point Park athletic department announced last Thursday that they have hired Chris Gaul as both the varsity head coach of the upcoming esports program and the department’s compliance coordinator.

“Gaul quickly emerged as the No. 1 candidate during the search for our head esports coach and compliance coordinator,” Director of Athletics John Ashaolu said in an interview with the athletic department. “…He has experience recruiting and identifying prospective student-athletes who are leaders within the esports arena. I look forward to working with [Gaul] to grow our esports program regionally and nationally.”

Gaul graduated from Allegheny College in 2018 with a degree in economics and a minor in physics.

Just two months after, he was hired as the head esports coach and athletic department budget manager at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), the second-largest community college in the country.

For the past two years, Gaul has held both positions at NOVA, including building the esports program from the ground up.

“I am extremely excited about being hired for this position and to be joining the Point Park University team,” Gaul said in an interview with the athletic department. “Point Park is paving the way for collegiate esports in the Pittsburgh area, and I feel fortunate to be able to lead the initiative.”

Prior to his post-graduate experience, Gaul spent time competing on a Tier II level team for Overwatch. He took that experience to NOVA with him, where his teams competed in Overwatch, League of Legends and Rocket League.

“Gaul has experience running a collegiate sports team, and he is coming from a job in which he served multiple roles within an athletic department,” Associate Athletic Director and Director of Athletic Communications Kevin Taylor said. “That fit perfectly with what we were looking for in a candidate.”

Not only has Gaul been in a coaching position since graduating, but he has also served as an esports consultant for other schools looking to begin an esports program at the collegiate level, a project he says he is passionate about.

“I see this new program as being a big opportunity for students not only to compete at the collegiate level, but also as a space for students with similar interests to connect and find their home on campus,” Gaul said. “Above all else, I hope to provide the students with a place to grow and develop as student-athletes, as individuals, and as members of an exponentially growing esports field.”

In addition to taking on the esports head coach role, Gaul was also hired as the compliance coordinator for the university.

“The compliance coordinator role in the athletic department oversees the eligibility of student-athletes for all of our teams,” Taylor said. “He will make sure that all of our student-athletes are meeting the eligibility requirements of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the department.”

The Point Park esports program is set to start competing at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester, and recruiting is open to both prospective and returning students.

“I plan to grow and develop a full-fledged varsity esports program that will compete at the highest level with other schools from around the nation,” Gaul said. “I aspire to put Point Park on the map as an esports powerhouse and the go-to esports program for many student-athletes.”