June 13th, 2014

Hyland's Heroes: Brian Pfaadt

Kay Whelan

Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: Brian Pfaadt
Brian Pfaadt is a St. Martha parishoner / photo from the Pfaadt family

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.

Brian Pfaadt is a life-long St. Martha parish member, having graduated from their parish school in 1982.  As a youngster, he enjoyed playing numerous sports throughout the various sports seasons.  From fall football to summer tennis, Brian enjoyed participating in athletics and made numerous friendships.

After graduating from Trinity High School in 1986 and playing on various athletic teams, he went on to Bellarmine University, from which he graduated in 1990.

Now married to his wife Staci, they are the parents of three sons: Brady, Brandon and Brett. The young boys are following in their dad’s footsteps, participating in team sports at St. Martha and Trinity. It is clear that Brian was impacted by CSAA sports early on in his life, and now he’s enjoying “the other side” and he is helping out and making the experience he had available to the young students at St. Martha.

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

I started coaching soccer in the 1993-94 school year as a way to give back. I have coached baseball at St. Martha since our oldest son Brady started playing in 2004. And eight years ago I started managing the Bethany Center (gym) at St. Martha.

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

David Esterle ask me to get involved with the boosters as a Bethany Center Booster representative several years ago.  I’ve been doing it ever since but I think there was some sense of calling by the examples of so many great role models I had at St. Martha as a child.  I remember all the adults that took care of the fields, announced our games, worked the picnic and coached.  I remember ALL the coaches I had and how they all had a HUGE impact on my life.  I take care of the Bethany Center at St. Martha because it needs to be done and it also shows the kids what will be expected of them in the future.

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

Over the last 10 years I have been coaching different levels of baseball.  I have coached both soccer and volleyball for two years.

4. What's the connection with your faith & giving your time to young student athletes? 

Teaching young athletes how to properly win while also learning how to properly accept a loss; along with teaching them the fundamentals about the game and how to play it correctly, all are very important to me.

5. Who was the most influential person on your coaching career? Why?

Believe it or not, Dr. Rob Mullen, current President of Trinity High School, he was an assistant soccer coach at Trinity when we beat St. X for the soccer state championship in 1984. I can remember that night like it was yesterday. Rob was a great teacher of the game and he helped me understand the team concept of soccer and that it just wasn’t a game of kickball. Due to his leadership and guidance, I was able to go on and play college soccer.

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

Give 100 percent all the time and do it fundamentally correct. The team will do better if the basics of any game are performed properly. Kids will also be better prepared to excel later if they at least have the basic foundations down. Learning how to perform as a team and not as an individual will also help them later in life.

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

They won’t say it but I think my sons have liked having me as their coach. They play on travel baseball teams but really like playing with their classmates, so I love giving them that opportunity. I think they see that I try to be as fair as possible to all the players, while we still work to win, but we keep winning in perspective.

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

The best part was not even a win. It was a sixth grade baseball playoff game at St. Pius when our right fielder picked up a ground ball and threw a runner out at first base. This player and I had worked and talked about this play for four years. I would tell him it would happen one day and he had to be ready.

At practice this player even referred to it as “the play”. He would say: “the play coach,” whenever he left the dugout to head out to right field. The entire team knew that we did this with each other in practices and in games.

Well, the situation actually developed and a hard ground ball went out between our first and second baseman. The young right fielder charged the ball, fielded it cleanly, threw a bullet and got the runner out at first base.

We lost that playoff game but the entire team’s reaction immediately after this player made “the play” is what made it all worthwhile. I will never forget “that play!” Didn’t leave that game that day feeling like a loss, it was a win!



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