BEMIDJI – Bemidji High School girls hockey coach Bob Brink is stepping down after two years on the bench because he wants to spend more time with his family.
“Coaching is a time-consuming job and when you have two little boys and another child on the way, you can’t devote all the time to coaching that you need to,” Brink said.
“I told our girls from Day 1 when I came here two years ago that you have to take care of family first and that is what I am doing.”
Brink inherited a program that was struggling to be competitive and in his first year on the bench the Lumberjacks compiled a 13-12-1 record. This winter BHS finished 11-10-5 and everyone associated with girls hockey was ecstatic about the program’s progress.
“Every coach wants to leave the program in better shape than it was when they got there and I think we did,” Brink said. “We had some pretty good years. The girls played very hard for the coaches and I’m sure that will continue.
“I have no regrets,” Brink continued.
Leaving the program after two successful seasons was not an easy decision, Brink said, but he knows that it is the best decision.
“My wife Nikki was very supportive of my coaching but it’s not fair to her (to keep coaching),” Brink said.
The Brink’s have two young sons, Noah (4) and Logan (2). Their third child is due in June.
“Nikki has shouldered the brunt of the child raising and, adding a little baby to the mix makes that job even harder,” Brink said. “I have to do what is best for my family and this is the right time to leave the girls hockey program.”
The 2012-13 BHS girls hockey team included only five seniors so the Jacks should be able to pick up where they left off this winter.
“We had some pretty good years,” Brink said. “The girls always played hard and I’m sure that will continue.
“I have no regrets and I’ll always remember how much fun it was to coach these girls and how neat they were,” Brink continued. “Seeing the smiles on their faces every day at the rink reminded me of how much fun high school sports really are. I feel very lucky that I walked into such a great group of girls and during the past two years I had an absolute blast coaching them.”
Bemidji High School officials plan to internally open the girls hockey coaching position soon and could fill it from within, according to BHS activities director Troy Hendricks. If needed, the position may also be advertised externally.