By: BrookeLee Galle; Special to SARampage.com
If you met Dov Grumet-Morris on the street, it would be easy to confuse him for a successful businessman, a lawyer or maybe even a politician. He’s well-spoken, engaging and extremely intelligent.
But Grumet-Morris’ profession isn’t what you’d expect – for now at least. The 30-year-old is a goaltender for the San Antonio Rampage, volunteering to put himself in the way of pucks that often travel upwards of 100 miles per hour.
Grumet-Morris’ first love is hockey, but not far behind is his passion to further his education. That’s why attending Harvard University to play college hockey was a perfect fit.
He grew up in a suburb of Chicago, and knew from a young age that he wanted to attend an Ivy League school. When Harvard offered him a starting job between the pipes as a freshman, the decision to move to Cambridge, Mass., was an easy one.
“It was a challenge balancing the classes with hockey,” Grumet-Morris said. “I was taking classes that interested me and I loved playing hockey there. Because of that, it wasn’t as hard to balance as I had originally thought.”
Grumet-Morris certainly didn’t select a cakewalk major while at Harvard. In fact, one major wasn’t enough for him. He double majored in government, specializing in international relations and Middle Eastern languages and civilization.
When asked why he chose such a difficult course load, Grumet-Morris’ answer sounds like something you’d hear from a top politician.
“I started school on September 12, 2001, the day after 9/11,” he said. “I felt that was such a transformative event for everyone in my generation. I felt that was going to be in the vanguard of what was going to happen in the world for the next 10-20 years.”
“What better thing to do then have a basic understanding of the interactions between the states and the nongovernmental organizations, as well as the cultural and political aspects of the region?”
At Harvard, Grumet-Morris didn’t just strive in the classroom – he was a standout on the ice, as well. In four years (2001-05), he played in 114 games for the Crimson and never finished a season with a goals-against average above 2.84. Grumet-Morris owned an impressive 1.63 goals-against average and a 0.947 save percentage in 31 games during his senior season at Harvard.
After graduating, he spent the next three years bouncing around several AHL and ECHL teams before playing overseas in Austria for two seasons (2008-10).
Grumet-Morris returned to North America for the 2010-11 season and split time between the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL) and the Greenville Road Warriors (ECHL).
It was then that Rampage head coach Chuck Weber took notice. Weber, who had coached Grumet-Morris during the Cincinnati Cyclones championship run in 2007-08, saw an opportunity to bring a solid, dependable netminder to the Alamo City.
Since then, Grumet-Morris has been the model of consistency for the Rampage.
Last year, in his first season with the Rampage, he put the team on his back when goaltender Jacob Markstrom was injured and played in 17-straight games to help the club to the third playoff berth in franchise history. In that span, Grumet-Morris posted a seven-game winning streak, which marked a franchise-high.
Grumet-Morris finished up last season with a 19-13-1 record, a 2.33 goals-against average and a 0.921 save percentage.
This year, Grumet-Morris has once again been dependable when called upon. He owns a 6-9-2 record, a .919 save percentage and a 2.42 goals against average.
In six of his last seven starts dating back to Dec. 22, Grumet-Morris has given up two goals or less. Teamed up with Markstrom, the Rampage netminders have allowed two or fewer goals in 16 of their last 21 games.
“Dov is a guy who gives us a chance to win every night,” Weber said. “He makes the big saves when you need him to. He gives the guys a lot of confidence that if they do make a mistake, he can bail them out.”
Being involved in the community is another one of Grumet-Morris’ many passions. He takes pride in his involvement with the Rampage’s Face-Off Against Kids Cancer program and he has also been active in the delivery of teddy bears to the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio that were donated by Rampage fans during the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss Night. You can also find him serving as a motivational speaker at local schools in the San Antonio area.
While Dov takes pride in his accomplishments on the ice and in the community, he values his family first and foremost. His wife, Rachel, is a surgeon in Houston and they welcomed a baby girl into their family this summer.
Playing in San Antonio, and the road trips that come with being a professional athlete, often result in Grumet-Morris spending long stretches away from his family. But committing to their careers is a lifestyle choice he and his wife have made, setting an example to work hard for their daughter.
Whenever Grumet-Morris decides to hang up the skates – and Rampage fans hope that’s still a long, long ways away – he will certainly have the qualifications for a successful career in the next chapter of his life.
“The moment I am no longer improving, and I’m not enjoying myself, that is when I am going to retire,” he said.
His excitement for life, with or without hockey is unavoidable. After he retires from ice hockey, his caring attitude has his eyes set on a profession where is family is primary.
He hopes to relocate back to the Chicago area so his daughter can grow up around her extended family. Finance, a more settled field that doesn’t require such long stretches of time spent away from home is his hopeful career choice.
But until then, he’ll still be the first player in the locker room before every practice and game, always looking for a way to improve and help out, both on the ice and in the community.