April 4th, 2014

Hyland's Heroes: Kenny Stottman

Staff Report

Hyland's Heroes: Kenny Stottman
photo from Kenny Stottman

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland, Block & Hyland. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports.

Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Kenny was born and raised in Louisville. He has five brothers and a sister who all reside in Louisville. His schooling included St Barnabas, Trinity and UofL. He has been married 32 years to his lovely wife Susan. He has a wonderful son Craig who is 25 and a graduate of St Edward, Trinity and UofL. His parents (who have passed in recent years) both lived into their 90's and were married for 67 years. He enjoys music, photography, playing with his movie making program on his computer, hiking with his wife and running with his St Edward kids.

1) When and how did you get your start with the CSAA? Why so?

In 1994 My Son was a 1st grader at St Edward and I wanted to get more involved with the school and parish. So I decided to join the booster club (now called the athletic ministry). At the 1st meeting I found out that they did not have a Cross Country coach. Since I ran Cross Country in high school at Trinity I volunteered to be the coach.

2) Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?

No one in particular, but I wanted to make sure I was involved in my son's activities.

3) What sports did you coach and for how long?

I have been coaching cross country for 20 years and track for 15 years. I also coached basketball, baseball and soccer, but my true love is cross country and track (especially cross country). I had planned on only coaching until my son headed to high school in 2002, but there were too many wonderful kids that were still participating (including a niece and nephew that were just starting to run) to leave it. It took too long to build the program to leave it at that time. For the last 10 years, I have also been the youth director of Derby City Athletic Club. It is a nationally known running club for distance runners.

4) What's the connection with your faith (stewardship) and giving your time to young student athletes?

I always try to instill faith in my teams by example and prayer. I try to remind my team and myself that "God is good!" I also have had the honor and privilege of being a Conformation sponsor 3 times to my former student athletes.

5) Who was the most influential person on your coaching career? Why? (Could be a former coach, parent, teammate, spouse)

Coach Rich Rostel my high school coach and teacher was my biggest influence on my coaching career. He made my Cross Country experience at Trinity wonderful, something I will never forget. He was an amazing coach but even a better person. In 1994 my 1st year coaching I went to him for advice on starting a cross-country program. He was always there for me any time I needed him. Unfortunately Coach Rostel died of cancer in 1998 at a very young age. On the day of his funeral we had a cross-country meet (the Mercy Inv). After the funeral I rushed over to Seneca Park just in time for the meet. On that day our kids ran out of their minds winning 3 of the 4 races and our other team placed 2nd. Up until that point in my coaching career, St Edward had never won a race much less a trophy. I know coach Rostel had something to do with it.

6) What are your major themes/principles as a coach?

I promote team comradery. It is fun to be a part of a team. I teach the kids to respect your teammates, your opponent and the sport. I believe in always being positive. I am all-inclusive. It doesn't matter what ability you have. I try to be flexible and encourage everyone to participate even if you can't make all the practices. If a student is really interested in participating, I am willing to adjust my schedule to accommodate them. Who knows, they may eventually grow to love the sport. I try to help them be the best they can be. Bottom line is I want every child to feel good about themselves.

7) What does coaching bring to you, your family?

Coaching has kept me in shape both physically and mentally. I really enjoy running and working with the kids, it helps me keep the pounds off. If I am having a bad day, the smiles and enthusiasm of the kids at practice always puts me back in a good mood. It is very therapeutic. 

8) What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of coaching?

The City and State Championships are exciting experiences that I will never forget.

The best experience I have with coaching is that I get to coach the same kids for many years. I have coached some kids from kindergarten through 8th grade. It is exciting to watch them grow up. Many kids have gone on to run in high school and college.Through coaching, I have made many new friends and I consider many of them as my extended family. 


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