Bartholomay proving to be backbone of Renegades
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Once Adam Bartholomay came to the heartbreaking conclusion that his professional hockey career was over some four years ago, he had every ambition to stay involved in the game and found his niche in the coaching ranks.
Now the director of hockey operations and 16U AAA National team coach for the second-year West Coast Renegades youth program, Bartholomay is every bit as happy as he was during his playing days.
“It’s a full-time job,” Bartholomay said. “And I love every minute of it.”
In his director role, Bartholomay helps oversee day-to-day operations, including making sure coaches are ready for practices, knowing what is going on with every team, verifying the Renegades are following proper guidelines and scheduling and organizing tournaments.
“When the D’Urso family, my father, Barry, and I started up the Renegades program, we had a game plan to give people of this area another option,” said Bartholomay. “We focus our program on development and giving the kids the opportunity to move on. We all work as a team, which is why we have been able to accomplish what we have in just two short seasons. A lot of the positives last season were that our teams competed nationwide with a lot of programs that have been around for many years. We moved a lot of our older players into Junior A camps and look to provide more of that this coming year.”
Born in Grand Forks, N.D., Bartholomay and his family moved to Alaska when he was a year old and then to Agoura Hills, Calif., when he was six. It was out west that Bartholomay caught the hockey bug, so to speak.
“At the time, California did not have a lot of ice rinks, so we found the one closest to us and showed up,” said Bartholomay. “I started playing for the Thousand Oaks Thunder and that is where most of it all started.”
Bartholomay later skated in the United States Hockey League with the Topeka Scarecrows and Lincoln Stars before going to the University of Nebraska-Omaha, then a member of the now-defunct CCHA, on a full-ride scholarship. He played at UNO from 2005-07 before embarking on a five-year pro career that included stops in the ECHL, International Hockey League, Southern Professional Hockey League and Central Hockey League.
“I never paid attention to other players or what other people or organizations were doing,” said Bartholomay. “I just went out and played as hard as I could every day. It was instilled in me from a very young age to try my hardest and do my best. Thanks, Mom and Dad – that advice is still working.”
His on-ice career over after a knee injury, Bartholomay coached the So Cal Titans 16U A team for a season before moving to the Utah Regulators program for a season and then the Renegades in 2014.
“I always came back from playing pro or college and helped with the Tier I teams when I was back home,” explained Bartholomay. “I guess it was in my nature to help the younger kids learn what I was learning at the higher levels. I never got the itch to be a coach until my dad offered me the job with the So Cal Titans organization after my knee surgery. I was icing my knee one day after physical therapy and he asked if I ever thought about coaching. Later that night, I stepped onto the ice with a group of kids I will never forget and gave me the inspiration to teach others this great game. It was one of the greatest coaching moments I have ever had. I found out I am a better coach than I was a player even.
“I love inspiring kids to achieve their dreams and teaching them a game that has given me everything in my life. Since that team, I have never looked back and am having a great time with the Renegades.”
— Matt Mackinder