Building teamwork

 Scott Minnig '98

scott minnig '98Many of Bluffton s student-athletes look back on their athletics careers and remember the team-bonding moments more clearly than their records. This is true for Scott Minnig 98, a sixth grade mathematics teacher and men s varsity basketball coach in Wapakoneta City Schools, who played basketball as a Bluffton Beaver from 1993-97. My favorite moments were the times spent with my teammates in the locker room after practice and on long van rides to road games. Those are the times I fondly remember.

It s times like those, along with memories of tough practices, that keep Minnig s current position as a high school varsity basketball coach in perspective. I want my players to walk away from Wapakoneta s program, proud that they were a part, says Minnig, who has always felt honored to be a part of Bluffton s program. I want them to be good people. That s more important than anything, including skill level. We aren t going to graduate many NBA players, but we are going to have a lot of professionals out in the world, and I want them to know what hard work is and how to be a good person as well.

The youngest of three Bluffton graduates, Minnig s decision to attend Bluffton came naturally. The time his two older siblings brother Mike Minnig 93 and sister Marty (Minnig 95) Hohman spent on campus served as testimonials to him. Minnig says their experiences, in addition to being recruited by head coach Guy Neal, made him feel that he would do well at Bluffton. Choosing his career path, however, took some time. With his parents and siblings teaching or training to teach, Minnig started out in education, but questioned his motives. I thought maybe I was in education just because my parents, brother and sister were in it, he says. I switched to business for a year, but I realized education was what I really wanted to do, so I switched back. I tell my athletes when they graduate not to be discouraged if they change their majors a few times.

And majors are something Minnig discusses with his student-athletes because he understands that education, not necessarily athletics, will ensure their futures. He says Coach Neal and the entire coaching staff at Bluffton was available to help direct him and his teammates, especially with studies. That s really why we were at Bluffton, says Minnig, to get an education. Minnig says he hopes his students and student-athletes walk away from their time at Wapakoneta with the ability to learn to know how to learn and if they don t know the answer, how to go find the answer. He adds that today s coaches and instructors have a wonderful albeit sometimes challenging opportunity to make a difference in young peoples lives and to motivate them to want to be the best they can be in sport and in education.

And, while being the best in sports correlates to winning, Minnig acknowledges winning isn t the sole purpose of athletics, and he chooses to focus his coaching philosophy on teamwork with winning being a perk. It s important for kids today to learn at a young age that while they may not be the best player they still play a huge role in their team s success, says Minnig. In any profession, no one person can do it all. You need to be able to count on people to do things. Team sports instill that responsibility.