Volume 96, Issue 1
Thursday, May 23, 2002
The secret to success of Ontario's finest coaches
Mustang hockey's best bench boss
- Western Mustangs men's hockey coach
- Played for Junior B Stratford Cullitons
The Western Mustangs men's hockey team not only captured the imagination of hockey fans on campus, they also stunned the scribes at The Hockey News.
The publication named the Mustangs the most dominant team on the globe. However, as the team began to struggle late in the season, numerous people believed the writers had been smoking some type of illegal substance.
Fortunately, the squad showed their mettle and defeated the Université du Québec a Trois-Riviéres Patriotes 4-3 in the national championship game. Furthermore, the team went undefeated throughout the regular season for the first time since 1982-83 and forward Matt Dzieduszycki was named Canadian Interuniversity Sport Rookie of the Year.
The Gazette discussed the year's success with Clarke Singer, recently named Ontario University Athletics Coach of the Year and CIS hockey Coach of the Year .
How does it feel to be honoured as the OUA Coach of the Year?
"It's an incredible honour to receive the award, let alone be placed amongst the likes of a great group of coaches across Ontario. It's a tribute to the program here at Western. I believe coaching comes down to 98 per cent of the player's willingness to succeed."
What goes into being a great coach in university men's hockey?
"You have to be more than a coach; you also have to be involved in your athlete's university lives. Therefore, you have to be a great motivater and a great listener. Sometimes after an athlete has been at class for seven or eight hours the last thing they want to do is put on their skates. You also have to have a great staff around you our coaches and trainers work extremely hard."
Did you ever envision that this year's squad would be so unbelievably successful?
"With the talent we had we definitely thought we had a chance to win the national championship at the start of the season. But we never thought we would have the kind of success we did, in terms of the undefeated season as well as only having four goals against [at the CIS championships]."
Was this year's squad the greatest team you've ever coached?
"I've had the privilege the last six years to coach some great teams, but I definitely think this one was the greatest."
How difficult is coaching under the current cash crunch?
"It makes it difficult to coach, but we are always trying to look forward."
Copyright © The Gazette 2002