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Interview with Dave Wagner (Class of 2000)

Dave Wagner playing against Colorado - Nationals, 2000

This is the first in a series of interviews with some of our past players. As the WCRHL's leading scorer in the 1999-2000 season, forward Dave Wagner was one of UCSB's most prolific offensive threats. He led the team to several top ten finishes, including a National Runner-Up result in 1999, and was instrumental in the process that will lead to UCSB's new on campus indoor roller hockey facility. Keep checking back with us as we visit with some of the most famous (and infamous) of our alumni. Next up: James Wagner.

Whatís your name?
David Robert Wagner.

So what was your nickname?

How many years did you play for the team?

What year did you graduate from UCSB?

What kind of degree did you graduate with?
Business Economics w/ Accounting Emphasis.

Where are you living now?
Newport Beach, CA... my hometown.

Whatís your occupation?
Iím a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) & CFP (Certified Financial Planner), but I currently work in Real Estate investments. Iím also assisting my wife in starting her own interior design business.

Is that what you were expecting to be doing at this point in your life?
No. I started out working for Arthur Andersen immediately after graduation and I figured Iíd be in some sort of corporate finance position around this point in my life. After a few months of the mind-numbing monotony of auditing and corporate finance, I realized that it wasnít for me.

How useful was your college experience in terms of what youíre doing now/aspiring to do?
College was useful for me in so many ways. Of course, I earned a respected (or so they say) degree from a distinguished university, but I also learned how to manage a hectic schedule, help lead a group of outstanding individuals towards a common goal and see such focused efforts followed through to the bitter end. Truly, I feel that I developed more as a person through my hockey experiences that I did through my school experiences. Iím not saying academics didnít play a significant and important role in my college life and subsequent future, so keep studying kids.

What do you miss most about UCSB/Isla Vista?
Seeing tons of friends everyday. I took it for granted, but once I graduated and went my own way, I inevitably drifted from my closest friends and now have to make a conscious effort to schedule times just to meet up. Of course, most of the attempts donít seem to work out.

Do you keep in contact with any UCSB Hockey alumni, and if so, whom?
I still play hockey with Jeremy Schumacher, Joey Nagel and my brother James when heís in town. Iíll still occasionally see David Glass, Brian Seymour and others around town too. I try to stay in touch with a few of my closest friends from the team via e-mail or phone, but Iím pretty bad at it. Even so, I hear from Vince Gotanda, ďBSĒ Brendan Sheehey, Andrew Sperry, Andrew Cahill, Milan Poidl, Dave Salyer and a few others from time to time.

Are you still playing hockey? If so, where and how many times a week?
I recently took about 9 months off, but Iím back into it now. I play once a week at the Gretzky Center (former I suppose) in Irvine.

Favorite memory of playing hockey at UCSB:
Thereís so many great memories. Everything from late night practices to intramurals in the upstairs of Rob Gym to the tournamentsÖespecially the ones we won, will be fondly remembered for years to come.

Least favorite:
2 actuallyÖIíll bet you can guess which 2. Letting a late lead slip away against Michigan State in the 1999 National Tournament Finals in Illinois, 4-5, and dropping a close one to CPSLO in the elite 8 of the 2000 National Tournament in Florida 2-3 (I think).

What, if anything, did you take away from your experience with the team?
So many things. How to continually strive towards your goals; how to not be afraid of failure;, how to work with the hand youíve been dealt to be the best that you and your team can be; and how to cope with your dreams being unexpectedly dashed away from right in front of you. I truly think that last lesson has been so valuable for me over the past several years and Iím sure it will prove so again and again throughout my life.

How have things seemed to change since you played here? Anything the same?
Itís great to see that the Gaucho pride remains strong. Thatís such an essential piece of keeping the standard of excellence high. We still have great leadership steering the team in the right direction and we still have talented committed players willing to spend their own dime to trek all over the Nation to see if they can beat the competition. Itís unfortunate, but we also still play on an outdoor rink late at night with minimal crowds. If not, thatís great.

What are your thoughts on the RecCen II (the site of the new hockey rink)?
Pure jealousy. I canít believe that a facility like that is going up on our campus. When we campaigned to vote it into reality, it seemed so far off that it was almost easier to write it off as something weíll never see. Now that itís so close, it gets me thinking about how much I would have loved to have that opportunity. In general, itís an amazing event that will improve the quality of UCSB hockey for decades to come. The rumor is that there will be a Hockey locker room, so each player will have a locker for gear and equipment. Is that true? If so... unbelievable. I hope the new generation knows how good theyíre going to have it.

(Editor's note: the final design of the RecCen II's roller hockey portion has not yet been decided upon. The layout of any locker rooms and/or storage areas is one of many details still being considered. We'll get you the details as soon as we learn about them.)

Hereís where you dispense some advise to the current team:
When I graduated from UCSB, I finally realized it wasnít all just about winning the National Title. The main goal for the program should be excellence through the years. Of course, striving for the ultimate goal is the best and most effective way of producing such excellence. What Iím really getting at is that Iím confident that everyone who commits themselves to being the best UCSB hockey player they can be and having fun while doing so, will have a substantially more satisfying and fulfilling college experienceÖdare I say life? As the program grows stronger and the tradition develops into a rich lineage of hundreds of individuals and events, the more meaningful and exciting each subsequent season becomes. Everyone who puts on a UCSB Hockey jersey at one point or another is helping to create a more meaningful and exciting tomorrow for the proud Gaucho Hockey tradition.

Do you have anything else youíd like to mention to them?
Best of luck in all your endeavors and remember that your time here will end sooner than you would like, so make the most of it and remember to plan for the players of tomorrow. They will in fact create a legacy that strengthens ours.

Last parting shout out, gratuitous plug or comment:
Thanks for the opportunity to answer these questions. Good luck next year.

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Watch as the Recreation Center II and our indoor SportCourt facility develop. This picture album will grow as the construction progresses. The opening date is set for Fall/Winter quarter of 2004-05.