April 26th, 2017

Hyland's Heroes: Rob Tinsley

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Hyland's Heroes: Rob Tinsley
Rob with wife Jamie and daughters Trista (6) Kaylynn (2) / photo provided by the Tinsley family

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland Insurance. "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.

When and how did you get your start with St. Gabriel?

My family and I had previously been members at St. Michael but were looking for a parish closer to our home in Fern Creek. I bumped into the St. Gabriel Director of Formation/Athletics Director (Tim McGinty) and we started discussing basketball coaching positions. There was mutual excitement about possibly working together in the basketball program. So, my family joined the parish in January 2015. The next season I started coaching the 8th Grade Boys #2 team and this past season I moved to the 8th Grade Boys #1 team.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?

Most of my favorite memories from my youth involve basketball at Holy Name. Basketball is one of my passions. It was always my favorite sport and I played for some good coaches, especially Buddy Werner, Bobby Gant and Joe Montano. The example those coaches set influenced, even at a young age, my desire to coach in my adult life. I started coaching Pee-Wee basketball and assisted Buddy Werner with the sixth-grade team at Holy Name while still in high school.

During my high school years, my best friend, Bob Meadows, and I constantly talked about the possibility of coaching together. He had taken a similar coaching path at Ascension, assisting long-time coach Joe Schuetter. We finally got that opportunity when we started coaching together at St. Michael in 2004 and the rest is history.

What’s the connection with your faith and giving your time to student athletes?

Being a coach allows me an opportunity to set a similar example for my players as was set for me. And one example is honoring the Lord with all of your effort and desire on the court and serving others in the community. I like to think my players see or feel how much effort I put into helping them be the best they can be and in turn, they learn to do the same for others.

Who was the most influential person on your volunteer career? Why?

My mom, without a doubt, was the most influential. She worked the entry door at the Holy Name gym for practically my entire youth. She was always doing something for our teams, like transporting players or providing post-game/practice meals and drinks. She is the one who taught me how to treat others.

What are your major themes/principle as a volunteer?

From a coaching perspective, I try to make sure my players understand that their success is my success. I am there to help them reach their goals and instill a mindset of hard work and focus.

Secondly, I try to teach them to be the teammate they would want to play with. That starts with serving each other, being responsible for each other and working together.

Finally, winning games cannot be our only goal. Being the best version of ourselves has to be our goal, and not just on the court, but in everyday life. So, work to improve every day, and the wins and losses take care of themselves.

As far as my other volunteer opportunities, I just try to give my best effort, and to be as helpful as I can whenever I get a chance to help.

What does your role at St. Gabriel bring your family?

Our experience at St. Gabriel has been fantastic and my involvement in athletics has been a blessing because we have been able to build relationships quickly with great families. It provides a great sense of belonging. Coaching has allowed us to make lasting bonds with players and their families.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of your volunteer time?

There is no better joy, as a parent or coach, than to see a child achieve something or learn something. Coaches are, after all, teachers. Being a coach allows me an opportunity to teach my players what was taught to me. And after they have grown up and moved on, to run into them, and still hear them call me Coach, is what sticks out the most to me.


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