Maryland Black Bears
When it comes to ice hockey, the state of Maryland may not be the first place that comes to mind. But in recent years, the Maryland Black Bears have been making a name for themselves as one of the top junior hockey teams in the country. And at the heart of this successful program is their head coach, Clint Mylymok, better known as Coach Legacy.
Since taking over the team in 2017, Coach Legacy has not only led the Maryland Black Bears to multiple playoff appearances but has also developed players who have gone on to play at the collegiate and professional level. So how exactly has Coach Legacy made such an impact on the program? Let’s take a closer look at his leadership style and the strategies he has implemented to create a winning culture within the team.
Building a Strong Foundation
Coach Legacy’s journey with the Maryland Black Bears began with the team’s inaugural season in 2017. As a new team in the North American Hockey League (HL), it was important for the Black Bears to establish a strong foundation both on and off the ice. And this is where Coach Legacy’s expertise came into play.
With over 20 years of coaching experience at various levels, including time in the Western Hockey League (WHL) and the United States Hockey League (USHL), Coach Legacy had the knowledge and experience to build a successful team from the ground up. He focused on creating a positive team culture and instilling core values such as hard work, discipline, and accountability.
In an interview with the HL, Coach Legacy stated, We want to create a learning environment where players can develop skills, compete at a high level, and be prepared for the next step in their hockey careers. And this commitment to player development has been a key aspect of his leadership style.
Developing Players for the Next Level
Perhaps one of Coach Legacy’s biggest achievements with the Maryland Black Bears has been his ability to develop players for the next level. Under his guidance, several players have gone on to play NCAA Division I and Division III hockey, as well as in the professional ranks.
One example is Maryland Black Bears alum Josh Tripp, who signed with the University of Massachusetts Lowell after playing for the team during the 2019–2020 season. Tripp credits Coach Legacy for helping him develop both as a player and as a person, saying, He pushed me to be better and held me accountable for my actions on and off the ice.
Coach Legacy’s focus on player development goes beyond just the physical aspects of the game. He also emphasizes the importance of academic success and being a good teammate. This well-rounded approach has helped players not only reach their hockey goals but also become better individuals.
Creating a Winning Culture
One of the defining characteristics of Coach Legacy’s leadership is his ability to create a winning culture within the team. This has been evident in the team’s performance on the ice, with multiple playoff appearances and a strong record in each season.
But it goes beyond just wins and losses. Coach Legacy has fostered a culture of hard work, dedication, and team unity. He believes in the power of a strong team bond and encourages players to support and push each other to be their best selves.
Additionally, Coach Legacy’s strong leadership has also helped the team navigate challenging situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the difficulties of the past year, the Maryland Black Bears were able to maintain a winning record and continue to develop players for the next level.
Continuing the Legacy
As the Maryland Black Bears continue to grow as a program, Coach Legacy’s impact will undoubtedly continue to be felt. His dedication to player development, commitment to building a strong team culture, and winning mindset have laid the foundation for future success.
And as Coach Legacy himself has said, as long as the players are willing to work hard, be disciplined, and be coachable, we have a chance to be successful. With his leadership, the Maryland Black Bears are well on their way to becoming a powerhouse in the world of junior hockey.