February 17th, 2015

Hyland's Heroes: Steve Cassin

Kay Whelan

Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: Steve Cassin
Steve is the coach on the right wearing glass and his daughter Amelia is No. 43 in the front row / photo provided by Cassin family

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland Insurance. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports.

Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Growing up in Louisville, Steve Cassin had his first introduction to the CSAA while a young, elementary student at St. Stephen Martyr.

As he attended high school at St. Xavier, did his college undergrad at UL, and graduate work at Bellarmine University, Steve continued being active in sports – playing: football, basketball and baseball. Opportunities to coach came into his life because of his life-long love of “the game,” and contacts he had made through various competitions.

Once Steve married, he and his wife Laura became parents to two children: Amelia and Andrew. And now it appears the cycle continues, because their children are happily participating in multiple sports as well as supporting their Dad’s teams.

Currently, Cassin coaches St. Stephen Martyr’s Sixth Grade girls’ basketball team. His daughter Amelia is on the team.

Steve writes: “Although it can be demanding, we are going against the current trends right now and trying to let our kids participate in as many activities as they can fit in.”

Clearly, Steve Cassin is a man with high energy, plus dedication to his family and community. He is a model of his long relationship with St. Stephen Martyr parish. No doubt, many there know him, and have had their eye on him throughout his life. The parish has helped to form the man he is today as the tradition goes on

When and how did you get your start with the CSAA? Why so?

I have been involved with the CSAA for many years. First, I was involved as a participant in my early childhood, and then as a coach and spectator later in life.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?

I got involved early in my life as a participant and just loved the competition and comradery. Later, I got involved through coaching my younger brother, Joseph, and children, Amelia and Andrew.

What sports did you coach and for how long?

I coached my brother in basketball in the 90’s for a few years and got involved with football 11 years ago, when long time CSAA coach, Sonny Bischoff, and his son, Scott, asked me if I would like to help them in football. This felt like old times since Sonny coached Scott and I at St Stephen. I coached that year and really enjoyed the experience, but my wife and I welcomed our daughter, Amelia, that spring and 18 months later our son, Andrew. Therefore, I needed to step back for a few years and focus on them. However, one thing we have always had at St Stephen has been a strong intramural program, and both our current and former AD’s that I have worked with, Kevin Pendigraph and Rick Laemmle, have continued this tradition. This program gave me the opportunity to start coaching again in 2008.

What's the connection with your faith & giving your time to young student athletes?  

Our commitment to our faith is very strong at St Stephen. In fact, we are a bit unique in what we require of coaches at St Stephen Martyr. First, we are all parishioners of the parish and second, we sign a contract to coach that pledges we maintain a certain set of morals and values that serve as a leadership guideline as to what is expected of us as coaches. If you don’t live up to these guidelines, then you are not allowed to coach a team. To my knowledge, we are the only one in the archdiocese that makes this type of commitment.

Who was the most influential person on your coaching career? Why?

I can say that I have been truly blessed to have had great support from all of my family, as well as all of my prior coaches.

What are your major themes/principles as a coach?  

Faith, hard work, and competition are the major principles I try to drill home. Have faith in yourself and believe that you are in whatever position you are in for a reason. I want them to remember as well, that anything that is worthwhile is worth the effort. I also believe in teaching the kids to compete. If they learn to stand and give their very best effort, then there is something to build upon no matter what the outcome. I believe this principles will also serve them well throughout their life.

What does coaching bring to you, your family?   

Coaching brings a sense of community and teamwork to my family. I can’t tell you the number of times others have helped me get all of the kids on my teams to their games and practices. This bond and working together have brought about some very special friendships and I have found out when everybody is on board, parents included, the experience and outcomes are usually pretty special.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of coaching? 

Coaching my daughter’s softball team at the 12U Babe Ruth World series last year was probably my top memory to date. We finished in the Top 5 teams from across the US. Playing teams from across the country was just a great experience. Although this was not a CSAA sponsored event, over half of our team was comprised of student athletes or parishioners from St Stephen, Holy Family, Nativity Academy and St Agnes. The other coaches, Greg Metzger and Tommy Clemons, are also St Agnes members and coaches.

Special Thanks

A very special thank you to all of my family and friends for their help, and in particular my wife Laura. Being a coach’s wife isn’t necessarily the easiest job. I would also like to thank my employer Brown-Forman. They help us achieve a nice work / life balance that enables me to volunteer for these events. Finally, I would like to say thank you to the CSAA and all their coaches, past and present, because without you help this would not be possible.



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