Roger Neilson's coaching legacy lives on

Posted: May 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm


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Celebrating its 25th anniversary in June, it's not hard to measure the impact of the Roger Neilson Coaching Clinic held annually at the University of Windsor.

Over the years, many of the clinic's keynote speakers started out sitting in the audience listening before moving up hockey's ladder.

This year's clinic will be held June 8-10. "We've got a lot of requests from people wanting to speak at the clinic this year being the 25th anniversary," said Marshall Starkman, director of Roger Neilson Hockey.

"(Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach) Dan Lacroix called us and really wanted us to have room for him to speak.

"He used to come and sit in the audience. Many of our speakers have been here in the audience and made the clinic a part of their evolution as a coach."

That desire to give back and share what they've learned on their hockey travels was the basis for Neilson, perhaps the greatest innovator hockey has ever seen, starting the clinic back in 1987.

A beloved figure in the hockey community, Neilson died after a long battle with cancer nine years ago but his legacy lives on.

"Roger started the clinic because he was always motivated to share," said Starkman, who attended his first clinic as a member of the coaching staff of Neilson's Tier II Junior A Lindsay Muskies team in 1997.

"He was an educator in hockey all his life from the time he was coaching two or three teams in Toronto as a teenager. He loved passing on knowledge."

Starkman said Neilson chose Windsor for his clinic because he had a connection to the university that helped him secure facilities and the proximity to the U.S. border made it a good fit geographically.

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Roger Neilson's coaching legacy lives on

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May 25th, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Posted in Life Coaching