Redhawk Boys’ Hockey assistant coach wins award
The Assistant Coach of Minnehaha’s Boys’ Varsity Hockey team, Bill McClellan, was awarded two honors this spring, at the end of the hockey season. McClellan was voted “Section 4A Assistant Coach of the Year” for 2015 and was also voted “Class A Assistant Coach of the Year” for the entire state of Minnesota.
McClellan was a new addition to the Redhawks Hockey program this season and seemed to find a home amongst his fellow coaches and his players.
“I’m very appreciative for the opportunity that Coach [Patrick] Griswold gave me,” said McClellan. “Obviously, I’m grateful to our players. We’ve got pretty good players, and the administration gives us the tools we need to get the job done and it all kind of leads toward success.”
McClellan said that coaching, especially at a high school level, is about developing the players to succeed, not only in sports, but in life as a whole.
“It comes down to what your philosophy is,” said McClellan, “and I guess for me it’s taking the X’s and O’s and parallelling them with life lessons, to teach the life lessons through [them]. We’re kind of teaching you life lessons through a sport. So I take the X’s and O’s and parallel that with the life lessons and teach you communication, camaraderie, what it is to be a good teammate, discipline, accountability. You know, all those little life traits that you need to be successful further on in life.”
And in striving to help his players succeed, McClellan emphasizes the importance of creating strong coach-player relationships.
“The most important thing is that your players know that you care about them,” said McClellan. “That is the single most important thing. Once they know that you care for them, and you care for their well-being, they’ll run through anything for you.”
Through his many years of coaching experience, McClellan has picked up these techniques, these strategies for how to become a better coach. The change in the hockey program and these traits that McClellan demonstrates are part of what led to his being honored with these awards.
“I’m humbled about that award. And I was speechless with the standing ovation [at the banquet]. That was neat.”
However, it is not individual success, but team success that McClellan aims for. “We had nine sophomores play,” said McClellan. “To me that’s big. Especially next year we get to see how much they grew over the summer.”
As well as the team did this season, and as humbled, happy and appreciative as McClellan is to have received the award, he is looking toward something even bigger and better for next season.
“That award was neat. That was really cool. But I’d trade it for a day at the X any day.”