After coaching the WNS Storm co-op hockey team to its first-ever state tournament, Maco Balkovec was named coach of the year by the Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association.
Balkovec received the Bob Johnson Memorial Coach of the Year award at a state tournament banquet in Madison Wednesday night. On Thursday, the WNS Storm — a co-op hockey team made up of athletes from Whitefish Bay, Nicolet and Shorewood high schools — plays its first state tournament game against Eau Claire Memorial.
Balkovec has coached WNS Storm and taught at Whitefish Bay High School for four years. In an email earlier this week, Balkovec said the team's key to success has been unity and teamwork, or as they call it, "The Brotherhood."
"The key was to get enough young men to buy into the idea that we are all in this together. We are not individuals with individual goals, but a collective group that can accomplish amazing things when we work as one," he said. "So we came up with the idea of the Brotherhood...We created an atmosphere of mutual respect and love for each other, and these guys have bought in. As a result, we have seen the tremendous success that we are having – and we're not done."
For a more complete biography of Balkovec's playing and coaching career, see this article in Wisconsin Prep Hockey.