Coaching in the Classroom, News (Athens Youth Hockey Association | Athens Ohio | Bird Arena)

PrintNews Article
Click to view full-size image
Coaching in the Classroom
Submitted By Deanna Schwartz on Friday, May 11, 2012
By Nick Robbe
Publication Date: May 11, 2012
The Post, Ohio University

Click here to link directly to this Post article.

Sport is about performance on an individual or team level and the measurement of that success. Craig McCarthy’s Ohio University hockey career can be quantified by the three American Collegiate Hockey Association championships he won behind the bench at Bird Arena.

McCarthy won 78 percent of his games at Ohio, finishing with a record of 215-46-14 at the helm of the Bobcats. In 2001, after eight seasons as Ohio’s coach, McCarthy opted for a change of scenery after being involved with hockey for most of his life.

“I started teaching hockey when I was 12 and started coaching when I was 20,” said McCarthy, who is in both Ohio and the ACHA’s halls of fame. “I think I just needed a break because I had done so much of it from such a young age.”

Another reason it was the right time to leave the program, McCarthy said, was because the team would be in outstanding hands with current coach Dan Morris, and he was not concerned about the future of the program under the guidance of his former player.

But it was hard for McCarthy to stay away from the game he has been involved with for most of his life. Two years ago,, one of his sons told McCarthy that he wanted to try hockey, and it has brought him back full-circle.

“It’s always a tough thing for a coach like Craig to put so much into something and walk away from it,” Morris said. “He knew he would back. The first thing he said when he walked away was, ‘Next time you see me coach, I will be coaching a mite team.’ True to his word, he is back in the rink.”

When McCarthy became a part of the Athens Youth Hockey Association, the mites had less than 10 kids. This year, the program now has 40 youngsters between the mites and the mini-mites.

Morris said laughingly that coaching the mites might be tougher than instructing at the collegiate level because of the sheer number of players on his team.

McCarthy’s primary focus is teaching them more than the X’s and O’s of hockey.

“He teaches those kids life lessons even though they are under 8 years old,” Morris said. “He is great to have back in the ice rink.”

Beyond his coaching duties, McCarthy is an assistant professor of psychology at Ohio University. His wife, Holly Raffle, is part of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.

Raffle also loves hockey and helps out coaching and training for McCarthy’s mites squad.

“It’s a way of life that I never imagined, but it’s one that I’m very happy with,” she said. “I usually run the offense on the bench for the mites. I used to be an athletic trainer, so I have that background of being on the bench. I’m there to be first aid, to be mom, to be the water person.”

Raffle had to go through certification with the USA Hockey Coaching Education Program. She completed the course as a certified level-two coach.

Elevating the whole personality has served as McCarthy’s mantra throughout his coaching career. Even when he won three consecutive ACHA championships between 1995 and 1997, he said watching his team benefit from the experience was the most enjoyable part.

“It was a great time, not only being together but competing, but the growth of people within the program, not only the players but the trainers and the coaches ... all benefitted from the program and became better people as they were stepping out into the professional world,” McCarthy said.

Morris said McCarthy’s coaching style involves motivating the whole person, not just priming each player to succeed on the ice.

“For as young as he was when he was coaching here, he had great wisdom and he was able to get the most out of a group of guys that he could every time,” said Morris, who owns Ohio’s all-time points record. “It didn’t matter if we weren’t the most talented. That’s the mark of a great coach.”

[email protected]
This article has been viewed 2515 times.
Social Networking
Follow Us On
Follow Athens Youth Hockey Association | Athens Ohio | Bird Arena on Twitter
- and -
Visit Athens Youth Hockey Association | Athens Ohio | Bird Arena on Facebook
Quick Links
Manage Subscriptions
Signup to receive email or text messages for the teams you want to follow.
News ArchiveOther Recent Articles
  • 15
    It's a good time to check over your player's gear! Look for missing screws or snaps on the helmet, skate laces about to break, shin guards or pants that are "suddenly" too short. Review the state of the mouthguard - is it too well chewed to be ...
  • 09
    Parent meetings are rescheduled for Wednesday October 16, 2019 during your child's regularly scheduled practice. Please plan on attending. We will be discussing USA Hockey's SafeSport Program as well as other important information for the season. It ...
  • 06
    Youth Hockey Skills (zero-travel) allows players ages 9-18 to build hockey fundamentals without a team commitment. Participate in a weekly age-appropriate skills practice and in Youth Drop-In all season. More Info.
  • 14
    The 2019 OSHL Varsity All-Star game was held on Sunday March 3 at Chiller North. Bobcats Nick Barga and Kory Kostival played for the White team, and Bobcats Connor Pepper and Finn Mitchell played for Red. Congratulations to Finn on being named game ...
  • 23
    This weekend we had families working hard for our kids. Several Mite families as well as D2 players walked in the misty homecoming parade. The kids got their picture with Rufus and generally had a good time. We passed out lollipops with AYHA ...
  • 05
    We had a great time on the ice with some new girls trying hockey tonight! Thanks to Emma, Ady, Sedona, and Maddie for helping the new girls, and to all of the parents who helped with gear. A special thank you to Coach Hogan from Ohio Hockey, for his ...
  • 17
    Try Hockey for Free on September 6 at Bird Arena! 5:30 pm for gear fitting. 6:00 - 7:00 pm on the ice.
  • 13
    In general, hockey goes on regardless of the weather. A Level 3 travel advisory in Athens cancels hockey, but otherwise we're probably skating. That said, adults should use their own good judgement about safe travel. Notify your coach or team ...
Printed from on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at 6:08 AM