Article by N. Schoonderbeek
One of the Eagles’ very own players is looking at continuing his hockey career, but this time on the bench rather than the ice.
The Clarington Toros recently announced the appointment of Bryson Kelloway as the head coach for the U10 A team in the upcoming 2023/24 season. Kelloway is a defenceman currently playing his final season with the Clarington Eagles.
“I am very excited about this opportunity the Toros organization has given me,” said Kelloway. “It is a privilege coaching these young players in their first year of rep hockey. It is a big responsibility to build the foundation of hockey knowledge and skills these players will use the rest of their careers, but I am up for the challenge and look forward to working with the players.”
Kelloway is currently an assistant coach of the U13 Clarington BB team. It’s a family affair. Kelloway’s father, Kevin, is the head coach, and his brother, Cooper, plays for the team. Kevin Kelloway has a long history of coaching and often coached Bryson’s teams while he was growing up.
“The opportunity to coach your younger brother and alongside your dad doesn’t come around very often so I jumped at the opportunity and it has been an amazing experience since then,” said Bryson.
Kelloway proudly boasts about the work ethic of the boys he’s currently coaching on the U13 BB team. The team has shown incredible determination and growth this year. After starting the season 3-9-4, the team won the OMHAs on Sunday afternoon.
Coaching is a natural progression for Kelloway. He has experience working with children for many years and is also currently studying at the Trent University Durham campus to fulfill his goal of becoming a teacher.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing to do,” said Eagles’ defence coach Jamie Showers. “When you coach a player like him, he has a coach in him. He talks with us about it and what he’s doing with them. And he loves it. You can see when he talks about the kids that there’s a little sparkle in his eye.”
While the transition from player to head coach will undoubtedly be made easier by his assistant coaching experience this year, it was tough having the dual role of player and coach. “The most difficult part of coaching while also being a player has been being on the bench and not being able to have an outcome on the game,” explained Kelloway. “This was a tough transition period as all I wanted to do was jump on the ice and help out but I had to learn to let go and trust in the process.”
Showers says that coaching is something that more players should consider after their junior career. He recognizes the coaching ability in Kelloway and the other players on this team. “They all have it. I know a lot of guys who have done it right out of junior and then carried right on,” he said. “And I think they also recognize what the coaches have done for them and they realize there is a little bit of a pay-it-forward at some point.”
Kelloway plans to be in coaching for the long haul. “I hope to continue coaching for as long as I can. I came up through the Clarington Toros stream and hope to give back to the next generation of players,” he said. “It gives me peace knowing my involvement with hockey will not end when this season ends with the Eagles.”