By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Nearly 100 Minnesota high school athletic directors gathered on Tuesday to listen to guest speakers help teach them about leadership, organization, and most importantly about getting the right coaches for the right kids.

“To take the principals, the concepts, the legal issues, and the coaching issues and leadership issues and apply them to the schools they’re at,” Ted Schultz said.

The aim is to make high school sports a better experience, and former college football coach and current Central Florida professor Jeff Duke brought a message of putting a premium on the coaches hired.

“Parents are putting kids into sports at all ages — it’s the largest single activity we do in our country,” Duke said. “More lessons are being learned in athletics than ever before in the history of civilization, but those lessons are all predicated on the coach.”

But those issues seem to get more complicated every year. In a world consumed by sports, and in a society that brings kids to the forefront, it becomes paramount that the coach is the ultimate at every level.

“The coach of an 8-year-old girls softball team has the same amount of influence as a coach of a pro team or Division I college team — the only difference is more people will listen on radio and watch on television,” Duke said.

There’s also a bottom line here — that sports is a good thing, and the goal is to manage it right.

“We want the parents, and the coaches, and the student athletes to have a quality experience,” Richard Stanek said.


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