Steel Sports is proud to recognize Baseball Heaven’s Steve Hassan and UK Elite Soccer’s Rob Jones as the inaugural recipients of the Steel Sports Coach of the Year Award.
The award is chosen by athletes, fellow coaches, parents, mentors, and management and given to a coach that had a positive impact on the lives of youth athletes. Steel Sports seeks to identify and honor those coaches that encourage their players on the field while helping them develop important life skills such as, discipline, teamwork, safety, respect and integrity.
“Coaching excellence is at the heart of the Steel Sports vision, so we have created an awards program to honor our Coaches of the Year,” Steel Sports CEO David Shapiro said. “We want to recognize the coaches that are teaching sportsmanship, ethics, character, integrity, all the key things we’re looking for in a coach. Steve Hassan and Rob Jones both fit that mold, and we’re excited to have them coaching the athletes in our programs. We hope that this award will be noticed by the hundreds of coaches within Steel Sports and that it becomes one of the highest honors a coach can achieve.”
Baseball Heaven coach Steve Hassan is in his third year with Steel Sports where he’s been the program coordinator, indoor facility director and travel team coach for 8-9-year-olds. Hassan encourages good sportsmanship, teaching his players that when a good play is made by an opponent, they should be recognized for the accomplishment. During practices, Hassan sticks to what is on the practice plan keeping his players entertained and focused. Hassan wants his players to get out of their comfort zone and try new positions but reassures his players even after a mistake that he has faith in them.
UK Elite Soccer’s Rob Jones is currently the director of coaching at The Football Club USA Coastal in Massachusetts. On the pitch, Jones and his teams had very high levels of success including two club league championships, two state cups, and numerous tournament victories. One of Jones’s personal highlights was challenging himself against coaches from other countries when he had the recent opportunity to take a FCUSA National group to Spain to compete in the Donosti Cup.
Jones’s coaching philosophy is all about putting the players in an environment where they are challenged, learning and having fun. He constantly uses soccer as a vehicle to teach life lessons to all the players with which he interacts.
Said Jones, “Every day brings new challenges, and I want to thank the incredible coaching staff and directors who I work alongside for being so open every day to new ideas and who make such a difference in the players’ lives and who push me to become better.”
Hassan and Jones were honored on July 26 at the Steel Sports Coaching Summit in Long Island, New York.