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Dec 2014 - Tom Winkler

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Dec 2014 - Tom Winkler

Tom Winkler - December Coach of the Month



Years Coaching:

Current team:

St. Louis, MO


Gillette Wild-NA3HL

Chosen Attribute (Teamwork, Excellence, Serving, and Integrity): Integrity

Why is this attribute important to you?

We have such a great form to mold individuals, we have to focus on building character and leading our players to always make the right choices and to hold themselves to a higher standard. It all starts with proper example and teaching. We can be great when we are driven by proper character and integrity.

What is your favorite scripture verse? Why is this important to you?

Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps”

I like this because it is a daily reminder that while we always want to do the right things, but we need guidance and help every day to carry them out.

Who is your favorite coach outside of hockey? Why?

Ron Totaesky Sr. He was a baseball coach of mine for many years and he was the perfect coach.

Led us properly, made the game fun, and made us a better group of people.

What is your dream coaching job (if different than your current position)? 

I really can only answer this question this way: “You can’t get the job you want, until you excel at the one you have.” I still have a lot to learn and I am in a great situation here in Gillette, so my goal is to continue to grow this program in this community and make it proud of us.

Share a recent coaching highlight that you have had.

I recently had a player tell me that our program had blown his expectations away and that he has never been so happy being on a team.

Tell us a little bit about your coaching philosophy. Why do you coach?  Who is a coach who had a big impact on you?  What ways are you able to make an impact for Jesus at the ice rink?

I coach for many reasons, but I want my players to be ready to handle society (college, higher levels of hockey, work force, etc) when they leave our program. I was not ready for the challenges of college and it cost me dearly on the hockey side. I do not want my players to make the same mistakes I did.

Faith is huge, as it helps keep me grounded and on track. I continually challenge myself, through my faith to be more prepared, to get to know my players better, and to keep the well being of my players above all else. I want to be able to look in the mirror every night and like what I see, and to do that I need guidance and direction.

I hope that I am able to be a good representation for Jesus. That when people look at me they see an honest, sincere, and hard working person. Even though I am nowhere near perfect or not even close to being always right, that my choices are guided by him and that I am doing what is best for the whole.

The biggest influence on me has been John LaFontaine. A truly remarkable coach, and an even greater man.

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