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Kevin St. Pierre is bringing a positive mindset to his new role as head coach of the North Haven High School golf squad and is looking for the Indians’ golfers to use a similar approach on the course. (Photo courtesy of Kevin St. Pierre )
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The North Haven golf team will feature a new leader on the links this spring. Kevin St. Pierre, who teaches physical education and sports management at North Haven High School, was recently named the Indians’ head coach for the 2019 season.
As someone who’s been around North Haven’s student-athletes the past few years, Kevin knows all about the positive atmosphere that permeates throughout the Indians’ sports family. Kevin feels excited to be the newest member of that family, and he’s looking forward to emphasizing the power of positivity on the golf course.
“The atmosphere here at North Haven within athletics and the whole school is very positive. I wanted to be part of the North Haven athletic community and, once I saw the opportunity to get my foot in the door, it was something I needed to jump on,” Kevin says. “I’m definitely pumped, because I finally get to make an impact in the North Haven athletic program. All the students here are great kids who are respectful, and the administration promotes positivity and what it takes to be a successful student. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Although Kevin has an extensive background as both an athlete and a coach, this will be his first go-round on the high-school golf circuit. Kevin grew up in Southington, where he played lacrosse and soccer for four years at the high school, before graduating in 2005. Kevin went on to play four years of lacrosse at Eastern Connecticut State University, from which he graduated with a degree in health and physical education in 2009. For the last eight years, Kevin served as a coach for the boys’ lacrosse team at Southington. Most recently, he coordinated the offense as an assistant on the varsity squad.
Meanwhile, Kevin has also spent plenty of summer days playing golf and working at Hawk’s Landing Country Club in his hometown during the past decade. When he heard the Indians were looking for a new golf coach, Kevin was eager to seek out North Haven Athletic Director Steve Blumenthal and express his interest in the job.
“I didn’t think twice about it,” says Kevin. “I went right to Steve, said I was interested, and asked him what I could do to better myself for the position.”
Kevin says that he learned a lot from Southington boys’ lacrosse Head Coach Ron Chase as a member of the Blue Knights’ coaching staff. While he’s now stepping onto a vastly different terrain, Kevin plans on using what he learned at his alma mater to help North Haven’s golfers have an experience that will benefit them long after they graduate from high school.
“It’s the accountability. For me, accountability is huge, and it’s something that a lot of athletes are looking to learn. It’s understanding that, as a student-athlete, you are a student first and an athlete second, and that the lifelong lessons you learn on the course or the field will take you to the next step in your future,” says Kevin, who lives in Plainville. “We are always trying to promote positive energy, people helping each other out, and leading by example. Those are big things as an athlete. Everyone loves to win, but it’s what you do when you don’t win that makes you better.”
Blumenthal says he’s impressed by the enthusiasm and expertise that Kevin brings to the Indians. He feels confident that Kevin is going to do a top-notch job of fostering the hallmarks of North Haven sports.
“Kevin’s positive attitude is infectious. He walks into the office, has all these questions, and wants to know how he can help the team. We’ve already talked about getting golf involved in strength and conditioning,” says Blumenthal. “We want to teach our students how to not only represent themselves, but also their team, the school, and the town, and Kevin is the right person for that position. He is a role model for our students and will teach them what those things mean. We are very excited to have Kevin aboard and look forward to many years of having him as our golf coach here at North Haven.”
One of Kevin’s goals as North Haven’s coach is to build the Indians into a program that makes their opponents take notice. Kevin wants to develop a formidable team that will constantly provide a challenge for its fellow squads in the Southern Connecticut Conference.
“We want to consistently compete at the next level in conference play or overall state play. We want teams to see us and know that North Haven is always going to represent,” Kevin says. “That is our goal for the future. We want them to say, ‘We have a match against North Haven. We need to be ready, because they have good athletes.’”
In order to get there, Kevin plans on using a piecemeal approach that focuses on the specific intricacies of each individual’s game. He’s also looking for repetition and a little friendly competition to bring out the best in everyone.
“My goal is to start breaking things down day-by-day each week, whether it’s a day of chipping, a day of putting, followed by nine holes. We are focusing on the different needs of every athlete on the team and, if we do that and compete each day, that will make us better golfers,” says Kevin. “It’s a sport where the more you play, the better you get. If we compete against each other and work together with one another, that will help.”
Of course, golf is also a big mental game where things can quickly go awry with just one swing of the club. Kevin wants North Haven’s golfers to stay on an even keel to prevent one bad shot from snowballing into a rough round. Kevin believes that if his athletes can keep their cool on the course, they will be better prepared to handle any adversity that comes their way in their everyday lives.
“That’s the nature of the beast, but that’s what the entire golf community is all about, and why we love it. You can mess up on a hole, but then regain your composure, and move on to the next drive,” Kevin says. “That is what we are going to work on in tight situations. When you put yourself behind a tree or a place where you don’t want to be, how do you bounce back from that, make it a positive, and learn from it, so you don’t put yourself in that situation again? It’s like that in all aspects of life.”
Even though he’s still settling in, Kevin has already met with the Indians’ captains, who are Ian Crowther, Andrew Johnson, and Alex Kirtland. Kevin was pleased to see the senior trio initiate the meeting and feels that’s a positive start to what he hopes will be a prosperous run as North Haven’s golf coach.
“They came to me and, by showing that leadership, I said, ‘Wow. These are captains that you want.’ They’re already taking initiative, and that is awesome,” says Kevin. “It makes you feel really appreciative. They are excited, and that makes me feel great.”
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