MASON CITY, Iowa – Coaches don’t get into coaching because they have aspirations of becoming a Hall of Famer, but rather to make a difference in the lives of children within their community. Mason City coach Curt Klaahsen was notified by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association last year that he was set to be inducted into its Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, COVID-19 halted those plans until this past weekend.
“I’m very humbled by the award but understand that it definitely is a team award and it’s something that is recognition of the players that I’ve had, the coaches that I’ve worked with and the commitment that they’ve had, and the things that they’ve done for me,” Klaahsen said.
When he began his coaching career, the awards he might win someday never crossed his mind. He simply wanted to make a positive impact on every community he was involved in.
“You don’t get into coaching for thinking about those big awards,” he said. “You think about the season, you think about maybe the long-term what you’re trying to accomplish somewhere. It’s about that experience or that season you have with those kids. Ultimately, it’s about the relationships that you have with the players or coaches.”
Taking the time to build those relationships has proved invaluable as Klaahsen helped the program turn the corner into being the state power it is today, placing numerous banners in the Mohawk Gym, including a 2016 state championship.
“It was a motivating factor from day one for our athlete of, ‘hey, we want to put banners up on the wall’ and we’ve been very, very fortunate to accomplish much of that.”
For coaches that may just be starting their careers or who might be working with a struggling program, Coach Klaahsen has some advice.
“It’s easy to make excuses about why things can’t happen and I think we’ve always looked at what you can do and control what you can control. That comes from our work ethic and our attitude every day, bringing that and trying to get better every day.”
As far as Klaahsen’s future in coaching, he says he plans to take it one year at a time. Throughout his career, Mason City’s Curt Klaahsen has been dedicated to doing that and more.