INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - KC Mavs youth hockey 14U travel team coach Jim Krueger was named Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City's (Blue KC) and "C" You in the Major Leagues Foundation July Coach With Character.
"On behalf of the Kansas City Mavericks organization I want to congratulate Jim for earning the Blue KC Coaches With Character Award for July," said Mavericks general manager Brent Thiessen. "We are incredibly proud of the effort from all players and coaches across the Kansas City Youth Hockey Association and we thank them for the passion that they bring to the game we all love. I would like to commend Jim for setting a positive example for the young athletes in not just hockey but in all sports in Kansas City."
The Coaches With Character program spotlights amateur coaches who, through their leadership on and off the field, are helping to grow youth sports in the Kansas City area while making the community a better place to live, work and play.
"No one that gets into coaching youth sports does it for the recognition, so for the first time in ages I might be at a loss for words," said Krueger. "As a lot of coaches do, I missed the competitiveness that the game gave me and I was lucky enough to find it again behind the bench. I'm a lucky guy doing what I do."
As a result of Krueger's award, Blue KC will make a $2,000 donation to Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore's "C" You In The Major Leagues Foundation in his honor. The organization seeks to raise money to support Kansas City area youth baseball, education, faith-based organizations and events and families in crisis.
"One of the key things we stress with the foundation is students and athletes developing into men and women of character by knowing how to be better teammates," said Moore. "By stressing the little things, Coach Krueger is teaching his athletes how to be great teammates on the ice and at home. Those lessons will stay with those athletes into adulthood."
Krueger emphasizes a culture of responsibility, respect and accountability for his athletes as well as a commitment to academics. He was nominated by Michiko Snell, the mother of one of Krueger's former players.
Two more youth coaches in the Kansas City area will receive the award, which runs through the duration of the MLB season. Honorees will continue to be chosen based on nominations from the public, accepted until early September. To nominate a coach, go to CYouInTheMajorLeagues.org/bluekc.