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Gaines achieves another goal as part of D-B coaching staff – Kingsport Times News

Posted: April 18, 2020 at 5:44 pm


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The Kingsport native was part of a national championship football team in college, played in the NFL and now is on the coaching staff at Dobyns-Bennett, his alma mater.

Gaines, 40, said being a football coach is something he dreamed of even as a teenager.

I always wanted to become a coach, even when I was a student at Dobyns-Bennett, he said. Thanks to coach Joey Christian for letting me come back. I appreciated it a lot. I definitely enjoy it. Coaching is a passion of mine. Theres no better place to do it than my hometown of Kingsport, Tennessee, with Dobyns-Bennett.

The Indians had a 2019 season to remember, piling up double- digit wins for the first time since 2012 and advancing to the TSSAA Class 6A quarterfinals before losing to eventual state champion Maryville.

Christian said Gaines means a great deal to the D-B program. Gaines has well over a decade of college coaching experience following stints at Chattanooga, Brevard, Maryville, Tusculum and East Tennessee State.

Gaines competed at the highest levels in his playing days.

After a standout high school career, he was a freshman defensive back on Tennessees 1998 national championship team.

Nearly 22 years later, he can recall the season like it was yesterday.

With the talent we had, even I as a true freshman could see we could compete with anyone, Gaines said. There were quite a few big games. The Florida game was big and obviously the Arkansas game, to pull out a win in that one. The national championship game (a 23-16 win over Florida State) was the biggest game Tennessee had and the biggest game theyve had since then.

My brother got to come out there (to the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona). It was just a great time for everyone, for the whole state of Tennessee.

His Vols career included a key interception of Alabama quarterback Andrew Zow that helped secure Tennessees 20-10 win, its sixth straight over the Crimson Tide at the time.

Gaines got to live out another dream when he was selected in the seventh round of the 2002 NFL draft. He was in camp with the San Francisco 49ers and played in the 2003 preseason with the Chicago Bears.

When I was first drafted, it was the dream come true, he said. I wish I could have had a longer career in the NFL. But I was able to go through the doors with two historic franchises and have such great experiences before some of my family became real pros in the NFL.

He was referring to cousins Gerald Sensabaugh and Coty Sensabaugh, who enjoyed long NFL careers.

Gerald Sensabaugh spent eight years with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Dallas Cowboys.

Coty Sensabaugh is a free agent after spending four years with the Tennessee Titans and time with the Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers. Last season, he played for the Denver Broncos before ending the season with the Washington Redskins.

Gaines time with the Bears led to a season as a starting cornerback for the German-based Rhein Fire in NFL Europe. The Fire went 6-4 during the regular season and met the Frankfurt Galaxy in the league championship at World Bowl XI in Scotland. The Fire fell 35-16.

On a personal level, Gaines got to experience Europe in a way he could have never dreamed of. His final experience as a player came in the 2004 preseason with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

My time in those other countries was great, Gaines said. Soccer is the dominant sport in Europe, but their fans enjoy football and they enjoyed us. I got to travel to most of Europe and enjoy the time of my life. When I was in Montreal, I went through training camp with the Alouettes and it was another good experience in one of Canadas largest cities.

Football has been good to me.

Beyond football, Gaines has been a teacher in Cleveland, outside Chattanooga, and at John Sevier Middle School. His preferred subject is history, something that has always piqued his interest.

I like working with the youth and teaching history, Gaines said. Ive always been drawn to it, whether youre talking about regular history or sports history. With football, I always liked the history of the game and particularly the history of Dobyns-Bennett football.

I like U.S. history and learning more about individuals like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and all those people.

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Gaines achieves another goal as part of D-B coaching staff - Kingsport Times News

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April 18th, 2020 at 5:44 pm

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Life in the NBA: Chauncey Billups talks family, broadcasting and coaching – The Athletic

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Chauncey Billups is enjoying the slower pace of life.

Hes never really experienced that, at least not in the last 25 years. After two years at the University of Colorado, Billups spent 17 seasons in the NBA. For the last six years, Billups has worked in television, first with ESPN and now with Fox Sports in Los Angeles.

His days have always been planned from start to finish. But now, with the NBA season on pause, he has nothing but time.

Some players are taking the hiatus to learn new skills. Giannis Antetokounmpo started learning the guitar. Paul Millsap has become a TikTok king. Sure, Billups lightly prepared for the made-for-television NBA HORSE Challenge (where he defeated Hawks All-Star Trae Young and will be in Thursdays semifinals), but he is using his newfound time to just be.

Im just using this time to be with my family. I havent ever really had an opportunity to do that, Billups said. Unless...

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April 18th, 2020 at 5:44 pm

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Why former Clemson coach Danny Ford still chooses life on the farm – The Athletic

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CLEMSON, S.C. The first thing Clemson fans should know about 72-year-old Danny Ford these days is that hes doing well.

Life on the 174-acre farm in Central, S.C., where the first coach to lead Clemson to a national title raises cattle and participates in South Carolinas legal hemp program, keeps him busy. And healthy. Hes happy.

Im just like a regular farmer, Ford said by phone. It keeps you a little bit younger than just sitting around and getting old, you know?

The second thing to know is that although Ford still gets to his fair share of fall tailgates at Death Valley, he does miss Clemson people.

That means the people that supported the football teams and didnt even go to Clemson, he said. Anybody that was associated with Clemson back then.

Hes referring, of course, to the late 1970s and 1980s, when Ford, at age 30, took over...

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Why former Clemson coach Danny Ford still chooses life on the farm - The Athletic

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April 18th, 2020 at 5:44 pm

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‘As a head coach, it’s something that drives you nuts’: East Forsyth tries to navigate life with no football – WFMYNews2.com

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KERNERSVILLE, N.C. High school football teams can't practice in the spring of 2020.

"Spring for every team is a big moment, so you can jell with the team and get going," said Jacob Fletcher, who is a rising senior on East Forsyth's Football Team. It's really weird. We're used to going year-round.

The coronavirus ripped spring practices away from teams, like East Forsyth.

"As a head coach, it's something that drives you nuts," said Todd Willert, who is the head football coach at East Forsyth. "As a head coach, you try to control so many things and if you can't control it, you try to find a way how to control it. Obviously, there's no way to control this monster we're against right now. We're telling kids and everybody to understand, everybody is doing it. It's not just used who's sidelined."

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The Eagles are coming off back-to-back 4A state titles. Even champions, don't get a chance to see the field together.

Willert is going into his 18th season coaching the football team.

"We did a drive-by with my daughter in there," said Willert. I said, 'No, baby we can't get out, we're just doing a drive-through. Daddy hasn't seen work in about 3-4 weeks. I need to come by and see it'."

Willert said he texts his team often while they're going through this time. His staff has helped provide workouts for each position. The team also watches film to get better. Willert said he's able to track how often each player is doing those things.

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'As a head coach, it's something that drives you nuts': East Forsyth tries to navigate life with no football - WFMYNews2.com

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April 18th, 2020 at 5:44 pm

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Coaches Check-up | Bucyrus’ Jerry Hargis brings unique perspective to the pandemic – Bucyrus Telegraph Forum

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Jerry Hargis learned a life lesson at age 28 that changed his perspective on things.(Photo: Zachary Holden/Telegraph-Forum)

BUCYRUS - Softball is just a game.

That's the mindset Bucyrus coach Jerry Hargis has during these unprecedented times of a stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now in his 10th season coaching the Lady Redmen, Hargis understands this is unlike anything his teams have ever seen before, but knows that as long as he and his team stay healthy, that's all that really matters.

"I worry about them more not taking care of themselves and being careful in public if they go out," Hargis said."Kids are kids and sometimes they think they're invincible and can do anything, but they just need to take care of themselves and the parents will do a good job of that, too."

Hargis has a unique perspective on this situation that others in his position do not. When he was 28 years old, he contracted Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a bacterial disease spread by ticks that begins with a fever and headache, then leads to the development of a rash made up of small spots of bleeding.

"I've been through this thing once, not knowing day-to-day what's going to happen," Hargis said."It was very uncommon this side of the Mississippi River, out west it was common, so right away they didn't know what it was. I was in the hospital for a while, then they sent my blood to Atlanta and found out what it was. The treatment was just antibiotics and they bombard your body with them. You go through that stuff and at the time you don't worry about it much, but when it's over, it it makes you think about what's really going on in this world.

"So you sort of get beyond that if you've experienced it once, and this will be great for the kids. If we get through this thing which I'm sure we will they'll experience it and realize it's a part of life."

When he met with his team on the final day before the stay-at-home order went into effect, he made the decision to have the girls clear out their lockers in the locker room.

"I had an inkling when I read something about this thing being a lot worse than it looked, and I had an inkling something big was coming," Hargis said."I directed the girls to take all their stuff, anything that belonged to them, out of the locker room. We have not been back to the locker room yet, but the girls have stayed in contact with each other. I told them if they want to throw the ball and hit, call someone and do it, but don't call me.

"This is an active group of girls we have and they're serious about this sport, so I'm sure they've gotten together some."

That's one thing Hargis hasn't had to worry about. This is a Lady Redmen team coming off sharing a Northern 10 title in 2018 and seeing one slip through their grasps last year due to an untimely injury to pitcher Caleigh Rister in the district semifinal that ultimately led to a district runner-up finish to rival Galion and a loss at Carey in the final league game a week later.

They're hungry for more.

Jerry Hargis is in his 10th year coaching the Lady Redmen.(Photo: Zachary Holden/Telegraph-Forum)

"I saw them on the practice field one day and I blew the horn, that's as close to contact with them I've been," Hargis said."This is somethingwhere the kids need to realize they're growing up, it's time to take care of yourselves for a bit and you figure it out. Don't have someone else come by and tell you how it ought to be, you figure it out for yourself."

It's more of a life lesson than a softball lesson.

He's approaching this as a learning lesson for his team. Hargis has been hands-off when it comes to coaching during the stay-at-home order,he wants them to focus on the bigger picture.

"It's more of a life lesson than a softball lesson," Hargis said."Softball will come and go, we'll have a season next year if we don't have one this year hopefully we get some games in, but I don't know if we will this has to be a life lesson you learn from and you're going to play softball more down the road."

As someone who usually has no free time from March to June, Hargis is making the most out of being at home.

"I keep myself busy," Hargis said."I've worked more on my house in the last four, five, six weeks than I have in a long time. I used to coach football and I coach softball, so I'm busy most of the time, but I'm piddling around doing things that need to be done and probably should've been done five or six years ago."

He also said it's somewhat of a blessing in disguise as it has helped his family as a whole become closer.

"I'm enjoying the family life a little more," Hargis said."My wife, who is an educator, is laid off, but we're as close as we've been in a long time ... It gives you more family time, the kids talk to you and worry about you a little more, they call us and want to visit more. We're a lot closer as a family, as I'm sure everyone else is."

At the end of the day, softball is just a game.

"That registered to me during this whole thing," Hargis said."People are scared to death, they really are, and I would be too if I hadn't lived so long. I've lived long enough that I know things like this are going to happen.

"It's part of the growing process."

zholden@gannett.com

419-617-6018

Twitter: @Zachary_Holden

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Coaches Check-up | Bucyrus' Jerry Hargis brings unique perspective to the pandemic - Bucyrus Telegraph Forum

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April 18th, 2020 at 5:44 pm

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Wrestling coach of the year: Bill Evans, Richmond Hill – Savannah Morning News

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Bill Evans is a student of the game when it comes to wrestling, and the Richmond Hill coachs attention to detail has helped build one of the top programs in Georgia.

This season, the Wildcats had another impressive campaign. Richmond Hill finished second in the GHSA Class 6A State Dual Meet tournament losing to Pope 30-24 in the finals in a battle that came down to one match.

In the State Traditional Tournament, the Wildcats set a school record with three state champions in Jakeem Littles (195 pounds). Kamdyn Munro (152) and Rick Shores (132) among six place winners that included Joe Fusile, who was the runner-up in the heavyweight class; Tate Evans, Bills son who finished third at 182 pounds; and Nathan Furman, who took fifth at 126 pounds.

For the second year in a row, Evans is the Savannah Morning News Wrestling Coach of the Year.

What Ill remember most is that we had a great room this year. There was a lot of competition in our practices every day, said Evans, 46. We knew we had a team that was state championship caliber but there were some other great teams out there, too.

Evans has been coaching with the Wildcats for seven seasons, the last two as the programs head coach. He has learned a lot from Nick Purler, the highly-regarded coach who runs the Purler Wrestling Academy in Missouri. Evans knows the sport like the back of his hand and is always learning the latest techniques to pass along to his wrestlers, whom he considers to be family.

Jakeem Littles, the Richmond Hill star who became the first two-time state champion in school history when he won the 6A 195-pound title this season, is headed to Life University to continue his wrestling career in the fall. He said he wouldnt be where he is today without Evans.

Coach Evans has taught me everything I know, Littles said. Hes been supporting me since I started and taken me to all the camps to help me improve. He helped me develop my own style.

He knows how to motivate every wrestler on the team. Were all part of his family. He knows when to get tough, when to support us and hes always messing with us. Hes always there whether you need a laugh, or you need some help even if it doesnt have anything to do with wrestling.

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Wrestling coach of the year: Bill Evans, Richmond Hill - Savannah Morning News

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April 18th, 2020 at 5:44 pm

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State coaching wins; dinner plans and remembering Bev Shatto – Jackson County Newspapers

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Wins On The Court: Ravenswood head coach Mick Price is No. 3 when it comes to all-time wins in West Virginia high school basketball.

State sports historian Doug Huff gave me the list recently.

Price presently owns 688 victoriesmeaning at least 12 wins next season will get him to 700.

Of those 688 victories, 674 have been accumulated at Ravenswood. The data was supplied by Ravenswood basketball history buff Bryan Canterbury.

Two of Prices wins were state Class AA state championships (2006 and 2009).

Dave Rogers of Martinsburg leads the way with 775.

He was hoping to add to the totals in the State Tournament. Rogers Bulldogs were set to open in a Class AAA quarterfinal against Pakersburg South, guided by Ravenswoods Brett Rector, who is leaving the Patriot program to be an assistant for the University of Charleston.

Second on the list is Howard (Toddy) Loudin with 698. Loudin coached at several West Virginia schools.

Following Price is Pocas Allen Osborne, who led the Dots to a regional final spot in Class AA with hopes of reaching the State Tournament. Osborne owns 667 victories.

The late Jerome Van Meter is next in line with 647. Van Meters coaching career is legendary with the bulk of his wins coming at Beckley Woodrow Wilson.

The states high school coach of the year award (for all sports) is named in his honor. Price was the recipient in 2009.

Former Morgantown head coach Tom Yester is fifth with 627.

One of Yesters assistants during his career was former Ravenswood player Jason White, who has won three state titles as the girls head coach at MHS.

The late Sam Andy follows Yester with 211. Andy won his games while coach at old Wheeling High and later Wheeling Park.

On The Road: Since the State Tournament has yet to be played, West Virginia Radio Corporation, which does an incredible job broadcasting the event around the state each year, has been reliving championship games from the past over the air on stations such as 580 WCHS in Charleston.

The other night while driving, I was flipping around the dial and decided to see what game they were broadcasting.

And it just so happened to be Ravenswoods 2006 state championship win over Bluefield.

Dinner Plans: Not only are sports teams dealing with the coronavirus, but so are sports banquets.

-Sadly, the upcoming West Virginia Sports Writers Association Victory Awards Dinner has been scratched for this year.

The 74th annual event was slated for May 3 in Charleston at the Embassy Suites. The dinner is the longest running of its kind in the United States. This marks just the second time since it started back in 1945 that it is being cancelled (the other was in 1966).

Ripleys Tori Starcher was set to be honored for a second straight year as the female recipient of the Ray McCoy Award, given annually to the states top track and field/cross country performer.

Starcher, a senior at Ripley, is bound for Stanford University to continue her studies and track and field career.

-The 24th annual Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame banquet has been shifted from its original date of June 13 to August 22 at the Grand Pointe Conference and Reception Center in Vienna.

Jackson Countians James Abshire, Chase Fischer and Josh Miller are to be honored in the 10-member Class of 2020.

-Meanwhile, Tex Williams is still holding out hope his annual West Virginia Sports Legends Reunion event can take place at the Charleston Convention Center on July 11.

Since 2009, Williams has turned this into one of the biggest sports reunions in the country, recognizing past coaches, players, officials, administrators, band directors, volunteers and media members.

Well over 500 are to be at this years event, including former WVU head football coach Don Nehlen, one-time Marshall head football coach Bobby Pruett and Greg White, head coach for both Marshall and University of Charleston mens basketball.

Some Jackson Countians are to be recognized. Williams will be releasing a complete list in the coming days.

Remembering Bev Shatto: Like a lot of people I have had the pleasure of getting to know through the years, the sports world has been our bond.

Such is how a friendship was developed with the late Bev Shatto Ripley High Schools beloved principal who passed away last week.

In her earlier years as an educator, Shatto was also a tennis coach.

Not only could she play the game, but she had a gift of showing others how it was to be done on the court.

Her playing background included winning a national tournament earlier in her life.

With no pun intended, Bev truly loved tennis.

She loved sports in general and staying physically fit.

The Ripley community has been incredibly saddened with her passing.

I didnt see Bev often, but when the two of us did cross paths we always had a nice conversation. The topic was usually about sports, her family or her Ripley High family.

While teaching Sunday School for several years at Calvary United Methodist, I had the pleasure of having some of Bevs children in my class.

Bev worked tirelessly as a teacher, coach and later as an administrator.

One of her friends (and she had a boatload) told me it was nothing for Bev to put in 15-to-16 hour days at Ripley High.

She referred to Ripley High as her second home.

When you look up the word class in the dictionary, you might just find a picture of Bev Shatto.

She had so many great qualities.

She was kind, caring, dedicated and passionate...just to name a few.

Our heart aches for her four children and other family members. It aches for her church family. It aches for her many colleagues. It aches for her abundance of friends outside of the school system. It aches for all the young lives she touched through the years in the education field. It certainly aches for the Ripley High Class of 2020.

I have heard so many wonderful things about her over the course of the past few days.

And having known her myself, those heartfelt tributes come as no surprise.

She will be forever missed.

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State coaching wins; dinner plans and remembering Bev Shatto - Jackson County Newspapers

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April 18th, 2020 at 5:44 pm

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You need not do anything extra this pandemic – The New Indian Express

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Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Author JK Rowling created a flutter on Twitter recently when she gave scathing replies to a person, who suggested that the author should not knock life coaches for trying to inspire people during these troubling times. In her tweet, Rowling said: Implying that people are lazy or unmotivated if they arent knocking out masterpieces daily isnt inspiration, its a form of shaming. If endless distraction cured depression, no rich person or workaholic would ever have killed themselves. Sadness and anxiety arent weaknesses.

Theyre a natural human response to difficulty and danger. Allowing ourselves to feel what we feel, and acknowledging that we have good reason to feel that way, is a better route back to good mental health than beating ourselves up for not being superhuman. Rowling was on to something when she said this. Alongside the steady and bleak stream of the number of COVID-19 positive cases, social media today is full of tips and ideas on how to make this pandemic useful.

Life coaches and influencers are exhorting people to not waste the extra time they have earned while working from home during the lockdown. But does this create a pressure on people to be extra productive when just coping can be stressful for many?

Dr Pragya Rashmi, consultant psychologist, says: We are culturally taught to be stronger in difficult times, to put on a happy face when we are going through depression. We are told to behave in a way that contradicts our feelings. This school of thought has been coming down from generations. It might have some meaning at that time, but currently, it does not.Baijesh Ramesh, a clinical psychologist at Chetana Hospital in Secunderabad, says: We are facing unprecedented chaos, and this can easily overwhelm many of us. What we are going through globally is a collective trauma.

There are people amongst us who lost their jobs and many more living in fear of losing jobs. The whole situation has given rise to significant anxiety, profound grief, panic, and fear of loss of lives of loved ones among people. Many of us are struggling to survive poverty, financial burden, health issues, mental health difficulties, and relationship struggles due to the lockdown.

Individuals differ dramatically in their response to stress and how they cope with it. Some people thrive even under these circumstances and make the best use of this time to be extra productive, but that cannot be expected of everyone. If a person feels pressured to be extra productive amid these uncertainties, that can be unhealthy. This pressure can create an additional challenge for children, who may not express their stress and anxieties like adults do; they are also perceptive of whats happening around and are concerned.

If anyone can cope with this situation by being productive, then thats great, but if someone doesnt have the bandwidth right now, thats fine too. It is absolutely okay to be not okay.Stating that we are witnessing an unprecedented situation, Pragya adds: The Covid-19 pandemic is a situation that most of us are undergoing for the first time in our lives. The last time the world saw such a crisis was during the World Wars. Amid this, people are being told to be extra creative and extra happy by social media, influencers and the socio-political environment.

Students are being asked to take up extra coaching, mentoring etc. I coped is no longer a thing for us. We dont see coping as an activity and ignore the fact that it requires energy too. We want to sweep coping under the carpet, put some activity on top of it, and believe that is the way to go forward. The more we repress coping, it will come back in a darker form. We have to face our anxieties and accept that dealing with them requires energy. Its not mandatory to be happy.

There are people who are being extra productive now, and it is their way of dealing with things. But everyone need not be happy, or cooking, or acquiring a new skill. To let go of all activities is an important psychological phenomenon that nourishes our minds. A retreat need not be activity based. Its important to pause our minds to gain new perspectives.

Creating extra pressure is stressful Life coaches and influencers are exhorting people to not waste extra time while working from home. Does this create pressure on people to be extra productive, when just coping can be stressful?

kakoli_mukherjee@newindianexpress.com@KakoliMukherje2

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You need not do anything extra this pandemic - The New Indian Express

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April 18th, 2020 at 5:44 pm

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How UVM landed NHL assistant coach Todd Woodcroft for the men’s hockey gig – Burlington Free Press

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Todd Woodcroft instructs during a Winnipeg Jets practice.(Photo: Jonathan Kozub/Winnipeg Jets)

Soon after Kevin Sneddon announced his intentions to retire at the end of his 17th season in charge of the University of Vermont men's hockey team, athletic director Jeff Schulman heard from Noah Segall, theprogram's former director of operations.

As Schulman prepared to begin a national search to replace Sneddon, Segall tossed a name in the mix for consideration: Todd Woodcroft, a longtime NHL coach who has spent the last four seasonswith the Winnipeg Jets.

"He said you may want to take a look at this guy," Schulman said, "and it evolved from there."

More than two months later, and smack in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic that prolonged the process for the school and itsmost sought-aftercandidates, Schulman and UVM selected Woodcroft, 47, as the fifth Catamount coach in program history.

"I talked to several head coaches in college hockey including in our league who know Todd and feel like hes a really exceptional person and his background and international reputation for player and skill development indicated he was somebody we should really consider," Schulman said.

"We really felt like he was a great fit for UVM and where we want to move our program," said the fourth-year AD and 1989 alum of the hockey program.

More: Why NHL assistant coach Todd Woodcroft wanted the UVM men's hockey job

Todd Woodcroft instructs players during a Winnipeg Jets practice.(Photo: Jonathan Kozub/Winnipeg Jets)

Woodcroft was UVM's guy, its top choice, according to Adam Wodonof College Hockey News.And Woodcroft yearned for a situation that had presented itself in Burlington. The marriage seems like an ideal match for both parties: A coach on an upward trajectory to take the reins ofa programand a school hoping the right personcould spark a return to prominence after seven losing seasons this decade.

"This isnt just a good place," Woodcroft said Thursday during a phone interview, "this is a destination where you want to be."

Schulman: "When I really evaluated what I think our program needs and to take the next step and compete at a championship level, which is what our goal is, Todd is the best person to help make that happen."

On the surface, there are questions. UVM'sopening, the final vacancy out of the 60 Division I teams, went to a coach who has noNCAA background either as a player or as a member of a college staff. And despite a stacked resume, the UVM gig is also Woodcroft's first head-coaching assignment.

"I dont know if I consider myself a maverick in any way, but I also dont mind pushing up against the status quo," Schulman said. "Most of our candidates came from deep inside the college hockey world and Todd represented a pretty stark contrastin that regard.

"Ive never been a believer that there is one career path for a successful coach. For me, its more about the person and their core values and what they bring to the job."

More: UVM tabs Todd Woodcroft to lead men's hockey program

Jerry Tarrant, part of an alumni group that played a small rolein theinterview process, praised the decision.

"This is a bold move and I really respect it. There were a couple choices that were safe choices and nobody would havechallenged Jeff on it," said Tarrant, who played hockey with Schulman at UVM. "Having talked with this guy, I can see the allure of (Woodcroft). This one is so far out of the mainstream of what people thought was going to happen that it creates an even higher level of excitement."

Associate athletic director Joe Gervais, another UVM hockey alum, called it a "non-traditional hire." But the overwhelming reaction has been positive, and could be viewed as a sneaky-good hire when the time comes for judgement.

"Ive been part of a lot of searches over the years and theres never one candidate who has absolutely everything," Gervais said."Time will tell how good a hire it was, but we feel like he's a great person for the job right now."

Todd Woodcroft has been picked as UVM's next men's hockey coach.(Photo: Courtesy of Jonathan Kozub/Winnipeg Jets)

Woodcroft hasn't stepped foot into Gutterson Fieldhouse in about five years. And the COVID-19 crisis turned all formal interviews from in-person to video or phone conversations.

But that was only a minor setback thanks to modern technology.

Resuming after the pandemic delayed proceedings for a couple weeks, Woodcroft was impressed by UVM's pursuit and dogged preparedness.

"They were meticulous in their research about me. They did a marvelous job vetting me,"Woodcroft said. "It was an intense process,I felt like the character of Red in 'TheShawshank Redemption' at the parole hearings."

Woodcroft also noticed the longevity of the administrators and coaches he spoke with. Schulman and Gervais are each closing in on 30 years at their alma mater. Men's head basketball coach John Becker just wrapped his 14th season with the program.

"Thats the greatest testament to a school," Woodcroft said.

Schulman said they had to win over Woodcroft, too.

"A big part of this process was us selling Vermont to Todd," Schulman said."I think it became pretty clear as the process went along that this was a good fit on both sides."

And, of course, Woodcroft had to beat out a strong candidate field. Six others were formally interviewed; associate head coaches Ben Barr of Massachusetts and Jerry Keefe of Northeastern were the other two finalists, according to several media reports.

"There seems to be a real synergy between (Schulman) and Todd, two people who share a common vision of trying to bring the program back to prominence," said Jay Woodcroft, Todd's younger brother. "I think the way that he prepared and delivered in theprocess, he showed them how serious he was about theresponsibility."

Woodcroft was also sold on the team's potential. Sure, the Catamounts won just two games in Hockey East this winter, part of a66-136-37 record in conference play over the last decade. But the Toronto native and 1995 McGill graduate saw a group who played and skated hard.

"I watched some games (on film) and this was a team that never quit, they blockedshots for each other," Woodcroft said. "They were inso many one-goal games."

Todd Woodcroft instructs players during a Winnipeg Jets practice.(Photo: Jonathan Kozub/Winnipeg Jets)

Woodcroft has spent the last two decades with five NHL teams in various roles, most notably as a scout. He won a Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012 as the team's primary European scout. He alsowas an assistant coach on gold-medal winning teams forCanada and Sweden at the 2004 and 2017 IIHF World championships, respectively.

Given his NHL experience, his teaching knowledge of the game "a cutting edge technician," his brother saidand the contacts he has amassed in North America and Europe, it was only a matter of time before a professional team or school offered Todd Woodcroft a head gig.

"Theres a reason the best players in the world gravitate toward him. Yes, hes dynamic and he has a magnetic personality but, most importantly, hes got the coaching chops," said Jay Woodcroft, a former NHL assistant coach who now leads the AHL's Bakersfield Condors. "Hes earned every opportunity, hes earned the right to work with the best people in the sport.

"Hes spent the last 20 years of his life preparing for this moment."

The key to unlocking the Catamounts' success is through recruiting, finding elite players, and Tarrant said Woodcroft appears to havethat ability.

"For me, I feel like recruiting is a very important part of the job, maybe the most important. I felt like he spoke to that," Tarrant said. "These kids will say, This is a guy who can get me ready to achieve my goal of playing in the National Hockey League. Thats a good reason to go to Vermont."

Naturally, Woodcroft's younger brother believes in him.

"He has an unmatched work ethic. When he sets his mind to something, hes a very driven person," Jay Woodcroft said."Thats why I think the University of Vermont not only got a great human being, but a very motivated and a very prepared hockey coach.

"Hes going to make it his mission for that program to succeed."

Contact Alex Abrami at 660-1848 oraabrami@freepressmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter:@aabrami5.

Read more:
How UVM landed NHL assistant coach Todd Woodcroft for the men's hockey gig - Burlington Free Press

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April 18th, 2020 at 5:44 pm

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For Coaching Lifers, Losing the Game but Sticking With It – The New York Times

Posted: April 11, 2020 at 6:41 pm


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Chiapparelli, 64, who has a mop of shaggy curls on his head and still wears those tight, mid-length gym teacher shorts nearly every day, even in the winter, didnt plan on any of this when he was starting out in coaching and teaching physical education 40 years ago. He spent 32 years coaching three sports, then dialed it back to just hockey and baseball after his wife asked him to, though he still helps out on the sidelines of varsity football games on Saturday afternoons in the fall.

The programs were fairly mediocre when he took them over, but he joined the board of the local Little League and tried to make it a little more competitive, encouraging better players to play in older divisions. He also started after-school floor hockey and baseball programs in the districts elementary schools, giving him an early look at the best athletes in town.

He paid his high school players to coach the children and used the rest of the money to help improve the facilities and opportunities for his high school teams. They got batting cages and bullpens and spring trips to tournaments against other nationally ranked teams, plus some sweet swag batting gloves, polo shirts, sweatshirts.

His players also do off-season weight training and conditioning in the mornings before school. He joins them for five-mile runs several mornings a week. His team is the grounds crew. They rake the infield and manicure the pitching mound and home plate and roll out the tarp when bad weather is coming.

In the early 1990s, he started scheduling games against the best teams in New York, teams that battered his Tigers at first. Now his teams regularly contend for state championships.

Im not afraid to lose, and thats what I tell the kids, he said. When you put yourself up against the tougher challenge you get used to having tougher challenges.

Since the season got put on an indefinite hold, he has cleaned up his yard and done all the early spring chores around the house. He usually works Sunday nights tending bar at a local tavern, but that isnt happening either. Now hes just bored, a guy who is used to having five jobs, who now barely has one. He should be throwing a thousand pitches a day for live batting practice, because hitting a ball out of a machine just isnt the same, but hes got no one to throw to. And nothing fills the hole of whats really missing.

Originally posted here:
For Coaching Lifers, Losing the Game but Sticking With It - The New York Times

Written by admin

April 11th, 2020 at 6:41 pm

Posted in Life Coaching


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