Hager & McGuire Elected into Hall Of Fame!

by Jon Hilke

Don Hager (Rockwood Summit) and Chris McGuire (Fort Zumwalt West) were the 2022 induction class for the MOIHA Hall of Fame!

Don Hager:

Back in 2010 the Rockwood Summit program was sitting in Varsity Tier 3 with a JV team to go along with it just going through the motions with no real sign of growth. Today the Rockwood Summit program is more active than ever with 7 teams playing in the current season across the Varsity and Junior High levelsThis growth can be directly connected to the long hours of work and dedication of this year’s Hall of Fame inductee, Don Hager 

Don has been incredibly active in the league since his son, Mark, became a freshman at the high school and the program has only benefited during Don’s tenure. Not only does he simply bring a lot of kids into the sport, but he puts the same amount of effort into the Junior High Tier 3 team as he does the Varsity Tier 1 team. Don may have as many as 6 or 7 games on a Saturday and without a second thought he does his best to make every single one driving across the St. Louis metro area. From 10 PM Sunday night practices to racing to the rink after work for a 3:30 skate, he makes it work.  

Of course, like any other coach his goal is to win as many games as possible but that’s not his most important one. Don has always put the kid’s success and their growth ahead of wins and losses and that is the biggest reason why the program is where it is today. Sure, he’s won his fair share of titles, 12 to be exact but just ask him to show you a picture of his basement that displays his success in all its glory, but he truly cares about the kids he coaches and wants to see them succeed not only on the rink but also in life and still maintains strong relationships with alumni that have since moved on in life. A lot of the kids still play for his various travel teams he coaches over the summer just to keep playing for him. Matter of fact, not sure the last time this was done by a high school team but his Varsity team of last year took home the State Wars gold medal in the AA division, a division where teams from all over the country pool the best players in the state and make their way to the tourney, turning out to be one his favorite wins for sure.  

To put some perspective of why Don is being inducted into the Missouri Inline Hockey Association’s Hall of Fame is because he is a forward-thinking builder of teams and a dedicated, all-in, coach who truly cares about the in-line hockey sport and more so, about the kids in his community and the kids in the St Louis region.   

Over the course of 2011 – 2022 his regular season record is 528-248-33 (surpassing the 500 regular season threshold this season) and a 66-47 playoff record prior to this season.  In terms of his numbers as a builder, he has placed 62 teams into the league since he took over the program compared to 30 teams that participated from 2002-2010. 

There are very few people more deserving of being recognized and admitted into the MOIHA hall of fame than a guy that has grown the sport as much as he has as over the years. Simply put Summit hockey, its players (past and present) and the entire league have only benefitted from Don being a part of it and we look forward to what the organization will accomplish in the coming years.

Chris McGuire:

Chris has been coaching in the league for over 12 years.  He spent a large amount of time during these years coaching his talented kids, Abby and Jacob.  During this time, Chris has been part of 9 championship teams at Fort Zumwalt West that includes the 2016 Varsity Tier 1 division title.  When asked why Chris was nominated, one individual in the league stated, “Chris exemplifies the meaning of a coach.  Coaching with him and against him, one can always learn a new strategy or an effective skill from Chris.  I recall a game many years ago where his team dominated us when they were shorthanded.  My team never touched the puck.  It was frustrating and embarrassing.   After the game I asked Chris how he managed to pull this off.   As you know, most coaches from the opposing team would choose to look the other way.  Not Chris, he was more than happy to teach me and show me on paper, his penalty kill strategy.”    

The main reason Chris was nominated and inducted into the Missouri Inline Hockey Association Hall of Fame is due to his dedication to the league and kids in the Fort Zumwalt school district.  He has participated in the league for over a decade, and it is not uncommon for him to coach multiple teams during a single season.  From junior high to high school, Chris has spent many hours teaching countless players the skills, the rules, and most of all, the right way to play the game.  One of the most telling parts of what makes Chris worthy of this induction is his dedication to the league and the Fort Zumwalt West organization.  The fact is that he continues to coach after his kids have graduated.   Over the years, its common to see many coaches and team managers come and go after their kids graduate high school.  Chris continues his efforts to teach and mentor players. 

The Missouri Inline Hockey Association would like to thank one of the best organizations in the league – Fort Zumwalt West, for giving everyone in the MOIHA organization the opportunity to cross paths with Chris. It is with utmost respect to welcome Chris into the Missouri Inline Hockey Association Hall of Fame.