Chip Rosser Coaches Award
Coaches are eligible to receive the “Chip Rosser Coaches Award”, a distinguished award for coaches in park district basketball and volleyball leagues who have demonstrated their “big-picture” understanding of youth sports.
The award is given annually in honor of the late Anderson Township resident Chip (Alan) Rosser, for his exemplary character and passion for youth sports. Coach Rosser built a “pay it forward” legacy, focused on serving the kids on his team who would one day grow up to carry on positive values learned in youth sports.
Chip Rosser Coaches Award Recipients
Each year, the Anderson Township Park District solicits nominations for this distinguished award from players, coaches, parents, and referees from our leagues. The following features all of the recipients and why they are so deserving of this award.
2001 – Coach Ron Doss
Ron Doss coached his daughter’s recreational basketball team from the 4th grade to the 7th grade. He set a great example with his positive courtside manner and “fair play” motto. Regardless of skill level, he made sure every girl played so they could experience the excitement of playing in a close game. He hooted and hollered with the best of them, always displaying top-level sportsmanship.
2001 – Coach Ken Martinez
Ken Martinez coached his son’s recreational basketball team from the 3rd grade to the 6th grade. He instilled in his players a sense of heart and a “never say die” philosophy. He lead by example and taught his players the value of the sport was not in the final score, but in the effort they put forth as a team. Downplaying any mistakes his players made on the court, Martinez instead enthusiastically praised his players for their accomplishments. The enthusiastic praise he would exude was best witnessed whenever his team worked together to score a basket… Truly a sight and sound to behold!
2002 – Coach Bret Furtwengler
Bret “Candyman “ Furtwengler coached his son’s recreational basketball team from 1998-2002 and his daughter’s team 1999-2000. He earned his “candyman” nickname when park district staff learned he had established a candy giving incentive program to reward his players for their accomplishments. Coach Furtwengler’s mission was to teach his team how to play and enjoy basketball. He taught his players the value of the sport was measured by how much fun they had while playing.
Aside from handing out candy, he also incorporated family involvement during practices. Player versus parent scrimmages was an activity often chosen by the player’s to end weekly practice, and was a definite highlight for all participants.
Coach Furtwengler not only demonstrated to his players the “big-picture” of basketball, but to all who came in contact with him during the various seasons.
2003 – Coach Ken Glassmeyer
Ken Glassmeyer coached his two sons in the ATPD basketball league for many years. Coach Glassmeyer is an excellent example of a coach with integrity and character. With Ken, winning a game was not nearly as important as fair playing time, sportsmanship, and love of competition. Coach Glassmeyer found kind and uplifting things to say to about all of his players at every game and every practice. “My son believes he is a good basketball player because of Ken’s constant encouragement and specific suggestions,” wrote Sue Randall about her son’s experience on Ken Glassmeyer’s team.
2004 – Coach Scott Robertson
Scott Robertson began his coaching career in 1996 due to a little arm-twisting from his wife Lori and park district employee, Emily Armstrong. At the time, his daughter Heather was in the 4th grade. Eight years later, Coach Robertson was still on the court volunteering his time to Heather’s team, as well as his younger daughter Lesley’s team. “He was always very positive, fun, and had the best interest of the girls at heart… Scott remained loyal to the girls throughout their recreational basketball experience. He deserves a medal, “ expressed Terry Miller about her daughter Emily’s coach.
When notified of his selection as the 2004 award recipient, Coach Robertson mentioned that having many of the same girls on his team every season made coaching wonderful and allowed him to develop great relationships with his players. “You can never give as much as you get back,” stated Coach Robertson.
2005 – Coach Greg Houston
“Coach Houston has coached me for five years. The first couple of years we were really bad. We couldn’t dribble or make a free throw. We lost every game. Coach Houston kept encouraging us. He taught us drills to run that made us better at handling the ball. He taught us how to set picks and make lay ups. We practice free throws at the beginning and end of every practice. After five years, we won almost every game this year. We always believe we can win because Coach Houston believes in us and has us believing in each other and ourselves. We play together as a team. Coach Houston tells us that we lose together and win together. Sometimes, I get really down on myself if I have a bad game. Coach Houston has sent me encouraging cards in the mail. It really makes me want to go back out and play my best. Coach Houston doesn’t yell or scream at us but he teaches us in an encouraging way. I think Coach Houston is the best,” stated on a nomination form by one of Coach Houston’s players.
2006 – Coach Tim Shepelak
“Tim has coached my daughter for seven years in the Anderson Park District basketball league. He is the most positive coach I have ever seen. Just look at the girls sitting on the bench during the game. They are smiling and cheering on their teammates no matter what the score. They get this from Tim. He is always smiling and makes sure the girls are playing to the best of their ability, whether it is their first year playing or their seventh year playing. He makes sure it is a team sport,” stated Brad Smith, the parent of one of Coach Shepelak’s players.
2007 – Coach Mike Benassi
Nominated by Jill Mackzum, a player on Coach Benassi’s 9th and 10th grade girls’ team, Jill said, “Mr. Benassi is truly passionate about basketball. At our practices he was always ready to jump in a scrimmage if we were down a teammate. During practices and games, Coach Benassi never played favorites and treated us all equally. We had quite a tough beginning to the season, yet coach never gave up on us and by the end we finally won! Coach Benassi is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had and he does a great job with us crazy girls.”
2008 – Coach Dave Knuth
This year we received a written nomination from Kevin Lammert, a park district basketball official. “One week, Coach Knuth came across the court and excitingly told me how his team had been working on learning the difference between being a winner and being a champion. He explained champions don’t win every time but always play the game a way they can be proud of.”
Not only has Coach Knuth made an impact on the lives of the youth he works with, but also the officials and those who have had to opportunity to watch his coaching enthusiasm.
2009 – Coach Dave Rose
Coach Dave Rose has been a resident of Anderson Township for 20 years, and has been coaching in the APD basketball leagues for the past two seasons. Coach Rose was nominated by a parent of his 5th grade boys team who wrote, ”while being disciplined and organized during practice, he still made things fun. He showed no favoritism for the more experienced players and displayed nothing but encouragement for the newcomers!”
Coach Rose explains that he enjoys teaching his boys to have fun while playing because “if it’s not fun at this age, kids won’t want to continue to play.”
2010 – Coach Scott Stricker
Coach Stricker, who has had the privilege of coaching his three daughters, was nominated by APD league scorekeeper, Elsa Basler, who said, “He always gives positive feedback to his players with a cheerful smile. Even without having a child on the team, he’s stepped in to coach. He has helped many coaches at their practices and games, only because he enjoys teaching, helping, and he truly cares about making it fun for kids.”
Dedicated, teacher, laughter, and fun are all words that describe Coach Stricker’s coaching style. “I enjoy seeing the change in kids’ faces when they have fun and begin to understand the skills of basketball. I teach, not tell kids how to play basketball. I want to make sure they have fun now when they are young because it is short lived,” stated Coach Stricker.
2011- Coach David Hooper
Coach Hooper has had the privilege of coaching his son Nathan since he was in the 3rd grade. Nancy Willhoite – a parent from Coach Hooper’s team – said, “From start to finish, Coach Hooper was enthusiastic, positive, and encouraging to all of the boys on the team. He not only coached and taught basketball, but also brought in life lessons along the way. We feel truly blessed to have been a part of this team.”
When asked what he enjoys most about coaching, Coach Hooper said, “Seeing the team try their best to be successful at a young age can translate into them wanting to be successful throughout their lives. Success isn’t always about winning; it’s the opportunity to try something that they haven’t been able to do before.” Coach Hooper is passionate for his team to be successful, both on and off the court.
2012 – Coach Dan Keefe
Coach Coach Keefe has had the privilege of coaching his daughter, Alyssa, and her friends since 2006. The parents who nominated Coach Keefe said, “Dan does a great job working with the high school girls and keeps them interested in building their skills, improving teamwork, and enjoying the lifelong recreational sport of basketball. Dan is a great coach and person with a lot of heart, class, and passion for the sport.”
When asked what he enjoys most about coaching, Coach Keefe said, “I enjoy seeing the kids have fun playing the sport and watching them improve over the season.” Even when Coach Keefe’s daughter was unable to play, Coach Keefe continued to coach the same group of girls. He knew he wanted to continue to teach them the sport and continue to make an impact on the lives of the girls he had coached for so long.
Coach Keefe’s commitment to his players, adaptability, passion, and enthusiasm for the sport are what make him stand out as one of the best coaches in our leagues.
2013 – Coach Sara Schmidt
Coach Schmidt is the park district’s first volleyball coach, as well as the first female, to receive the award.
Coach Schmidt had the privilege of coaching her daughter, Chelsea, and her friends during the 2013 winter volleyball season. Parents who nominated Coach Schmidt said, “She inspired such a sense of teamwork and support on our team. Our girls were from different schools and different grades, but she was able to bring them together to support each other. It was the best team experience we have had, and I wish we could re-create it in all of our team sports.”
When asked what advice she would give new coaches, Coach Schmidt said, “Do your research, learn fun games and drills that teach skills, and have a plan; but realize things won’t always go as you planned, and that’s okay. Just do your best and be fair; that is all you can do. Finally, ask your team two questions at the end of the season: Did you have fun? Did you get better?” Coach Schmidt’s commitment to her players, adaptability, and enthusiasm are what make her stand out as one of the best coaches in our leagues.
2014-2015 – Coach Emily Mengel
Coach Mengel has had the privilege of coaching her daughters, Eleanor and Claire, and their friends in park district volleyball leagues for the last six years. When asked if she coached other sports, Coach Mengel’s passion for volleyball was evident with her response, “There are other sports besides volleyball?”
Coach Mengel offers the following advice for new coaches: Don’t forget the team aspect of volleyball. Make up a team cheer, do a warm up routine as a team, teach your players to encourage each other on the court, and emphasize good sportsmanship. Compared to other sports, volleyball is tough because if a player makes a mistake, play stops and the other team gets the ball; encouraging the kids to feel like a team takes some of that pressure off.
2014-2015 – Coach Ed Donohoe
Coach Donohoe has had the privilege of coaching his five children, Eddie, Joseph, Clare, Sarah and Nick, as well as their friends, in park district leagues for the last six years.
A parent of a player on Coach Donohoe’s team said: It’s not just the amount of time Ed has volunteered and the responsibilities he has assumed that prompts me to make this nomination. It’s the manner in which Ed is coaching and has coached so many children in Anderson Township. Ed stresses teaching the fundamentals of the game and teamwork over what a team’s record is or how many points an individual scores.
2015-2016 – Coach Steve Withers
Coach Withers has had the privilege of coaching his three children, Dylan, Allison and Ava, as well as their friends, in park district leagues for the past five years. He has 15 years of experience as a basketball and soccer coach. During the winter 2016 season, Coach Withers volunteered to coach a second team even though he did not have a child on the team.
When asked about Coach Withers, a parent on this team said: “He was a great coach. He held them to high standards and taught them skills along the way. He did not have to give even half of the time and effort that he gave, but he did. My boys loved going to practices, playing in the games and they came out still loving the sport… I think he made a very positive contribution to our boys, the league and the sport.”
Coach Withers’ advice to new coaches is to “have patience with children of all ages and remember that the most important thing is that these kids have fun!” Coach Withers’ commitment to his players, adaptability, and enthusiasm are what make him a stand out coach in our leagues. He understands the recreational philosophy compared to a competitive approach and does a great job leading each team accordingly.
2016-2017 – Coach Jennifer Hamilton
Coach Hamilton has had the privilege of coaching two of her three daughters, Olivia and Emma, as well as their friends, in park district leagues for the past six years. She has volunteered as a volleyball coach for six years and a basketball coach for three years in our recreational leagues. Jennifer understands the commitment required to be a youth sports coach and fully appreciates how rewarding it is to see these young athletes grow and accomplish their personal goals.
When asked what advice she would give new coaches, Coach Hamilton said, “While the fundamentals of the game are important, it’s teaching the girls how to be good teammates, good competitors and always respecting the game that is most important.” Coach Hamilton’s commitment to her players, adaptability, and enthusiasm are what make her a stand out coach in our leagues.