COACH OF THE MONTH: MAY/JUNE
David Hastings, Head Basketball Coach
Pioneer Valley Regional High School, Northfield, MA
According to Pioneer Valley senior guard Alex Klepadlo, the one thing that separates David Hastings from other coaches is his demand for sportsmanship.
“Sportsmanship is not just going through the line shaking hands at the end of the game; it is more than that,” said Klepadlo, a co-captain on the boys’ varsity basketball team. “Basketball is a very physical game and I've learned that fouling people hard is a part of the game. Our coach always makes sure we help the player up after knocking them down. It is not enough to respect yourself but you have to respect the other people on the court and the game of basketball.”
Added Klepadlo: “He is trying to change our school’s previous reputation of beating people into the ground and not caring. I would say he has successfully changed that by our school winning the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Sportsmanship Award.”
Hastings, who has coached boys’ varsity basketball at Pioneer Valley Regional for the past eight years, also preaches the importance of team unity. Team dinners are held before each home game and include players’ parents and siblings. He is also a stickler for educational priorities with an emphasis on student-athletes going to college.
Hastings has been the director/coach of the local AAU basketball program for 12 years. In addition, he has served as a volunteer coach for the Baystate Games for the past four years as well as volunteering for the Massachusetts vs Vermont All-Star Game.
When he is not coaching or volunteering his time, Coach Hastings, a certified basketball official, is the Chief of Police in Gill, MA.
His impact regarding sportsmanship has left a lasting and indelible impression.
“Another sign of sportsmanship is his intolerance for swearing,” Klepadlo said. “Speaking as a teenager, we tend to speak before we think. Our coach has taught us that when we swear, we disrespect him, our parents, and the school. He has taught us that you are always representing others besides yourself and you need to carry a sense of pride with that. I would never know the true meaning of sportsmanship without my coach, David Hastings.”