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McLean hopes to be a fixture with West Bloomfield hockey program for years

By: Mike Moore | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published December 12, 2016

 Logan McLean is in his first season with the West Bloomfield High hockey program. He spoke recently about how important it is to create stability within the coaching staff after the Lakers have had four coaches in six years.

Logan McLean is in his first season with the West Bloomfield High hockey program. He spoke recently about how important it is to create stability within the coaching staff after the Lakers have had four coaches in six years.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — During his playing days, and even at times behind the bench, Logan McLean has witnessed how difficult it can be to form a consistent hockey program with a revolving door of coaches trying to lead it.

The first-year West Bloomfield High hockey coach hopes to be the fixture that wedges that door open with the Lakers’ program.

“The goal is to provide a stable coaching system here, where it’s not somebody new every year,” McLean said last week. “I’d love kids to look back in 10 years and still be able to talk about the same coach who’s been there for a decade or more. I think with some of the more successful programs out there, that’s what you see.”

McLean is the fourth coach in six years at West Bloomfield.

The Farmington Hills resident and North Farmington grad played for Farmington United from 1998 to 2000 as the team’s goaltender.

Following high school, he walked on at Western Michigan University and played one year for the Broncos.

His coaching career began roughly nine years ago, serving as the head man at Walled Lake Western for four seasons.

He’s also spent time assisting varsity and junior varsity teams at Bloomfield Hills High at the high school level.

At press time, he had guided the Lakers to a 2-2-1 overall record and a 1-1-1 mark in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

“This year is about growing into a high-intensity, high-speed team,” McLean said. “We have some kids that are running the team right now, pushing each other in a good way. I’ve been on teams before where mistakes lead to ridicule. These guys are all about picking one another up or making suggestions on corrections. I think the communication early on is something they may not be used to. But it’s something they are grasping onto.”

The Lakers went 8-16-0 last winter, and McLean knows the process of building a winner — a consistent winner, that is — won’t happen overnight.

“I’m a coach that likes to approach things from one year to the next,” he said. “I like teams that are physical and throw the body around, but you have to take what’s given. We have physical guys here, but I think with this team, the strength is the skills, the speed and the shooting. That’s the focus of what we’re working on.”

McLean, 34, said that being younger, and having two assistants under 25 years old, also helps as they lay out the future of the program and appeal to some of the school’s talented players who may still be playing in other leagues.

“As younger coaches, I think it shows we can be here for a while,” McLean said. “We’re trying to take what has been an inconsistent public school team and, ideally, turn this into a Livonia Stevenson or Howell (High), where we’re talking about team wins and successful seasons every year.”

Winning, McLean noted, can make so much of this process accelerate.

“The more you win, the more you generate interest from the kids playing travel or kids in the school not playing,” he said. “At the same time, if we can provide a coaching system here where kids know who the coach will be from one year to the next, that’s a huge factor.”

And the first goal moving forward.

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