Coach Vander Klay continues to lead on and off the court

Coach+Vander+Klay+with+this+year%27s+Varsity+Basketball+Team.
Coach Vander Klay with this year's Varsity Basketball Team.

Coach Vander Klay with this year's Varsity Basketball Team.

Coach Vander Klay with this year's Varsity Basketball Team.

Kayla Hinton, Contributing Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






A coach, a father, a teacher, and a role model is Vander Klay. Coach Vander Klay has done a lot for the boys basketball program here at Wyoming High School. He has a bunch of love for the Wyoming community and the people in it. Vander Klay is humble in the best possible way. Because of his work ethic both players and students look to him as a role model.

As a coach, Vander Klay has achieved so much over the years. He has received 6 coaching awards. Vander Klay has been named Regional Coach of the Year three times. In the year 2004 he was named the Detroit News State Coach of the Year. In 2016, the Wyoming community rallied behind coach and helped him get named MLive Best Coach. Just recently, he was named the West Michigan Officials Association Coach of the year 2017. Adding to all the coaching awards Vander Klay is in the Wyoming Public Schools Hall of Fame.

Before he was a varsity boys coach he coached JV for 10 years.He led 4 JV championships. He then became the head coach at Park in 1995. Nine academic all state teams, seven conferences, and four districts championships is only a few of his accomplishments of coaching varsity. VanderKlay has high hopes that his team will do well this year.

Read on to learn more about your teacher and coach.

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
Getting to know so many great young people with so much potential to have incredible lives.Most HS students heads are spinning with things that really don’t matter but I’ve seen thousands that have become such great adults within the 5 to 10 years after graduation. You can see them grow up and towards who they will eventually become during the last couple years of High School.

What is your favorite thing about being a coach?
Coaching is different than the classroom in that every athlete is highly motivated and capable. The intensity is so much more like “the real world” in that it is true competition both within the team and against our opponents. The way to be successful is to recognize roles and improve to meet the potential. I’ve been around a long time so I’ve been recognized for a few awards but the reality is that when any coach has good players the team wins. We have been blessed to have a lot of good players through the years.


What’s it like being both a teacher and a coach?

Throughout my adult life I’ve never wanted to do anything other than teach and coach High School students. For me, it’s very fulfilling to see young adults figure things out, grow up, compete, and begin to see a bigger world. It is a time of tough lessons and I enjoy helping all the students and athletes begin to find out they are tougher, smarter, and more resilient than they ever imagined.

What do you like about your team this year?
This years team is physically and mentally tough. They do not shy away from a challenge. They are quick, skilled, and unselfish. While expectations are not a great from the outside they know they can compete with anyone.

What is something that the team needs to work on to win more games?
We need to play harder than every opponent to have a chance. To board we have to have all hands on deck because we are so tiny, So playing fast consistently is our key. We can’t have slow possessions. Our focus is conditioning so we can focus quickly and play faster than our opponents every possession.

What are you looking forward to this season?
Our ceiling is very high as Jo’vaun is coming back from his injury and Payton will be ready to play in mid-January as well as our young players can improve dramatically throughout their first varsity season.

Do you have any goals for your team and players?
Our goals are to be the best players and best team possible. Our opponents are just ways we measure our progress.

Did you play any high school sports?
I played HS football, basketball, and track and college football and basketball.

What is your best memory from playing high school sports?
My best memories are winning championships.

What was the best thing about playing high school sports?

I was fortunate to play on six high school championship teams and three college championship teams.Nothing really matches being part of a championship team and knowing that everyone had to fulfill their roles.

Do you model your coaching styles by anyone?

My coaching role models include my high school coaches Jack VerDuin, Rich Renzema, and Frank Grimm and my college coaches Ray Smith and Glenn VanWeiren.Through many clinics and life experiences, I continue to learn how to be a better coach.

What does practice look like?
Practices are generally done quickly, with intensity, and fast. The expectations for the players is that they compete and play hard. We want to work on consistency of intensity particularly when we “don’t feel like it”. Selfishness, pouting, individual agendas, and drama, are not rewarded. Returning seniors are expected to teach as well as participate.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Coach Vander Klay continues to lead on and off the court

    Sports

    Seniors get the win in their final home basketball game

  • Coach Vander Klay continues to lead on and off the court

    Sports

    Wolves clinch conference championship!!

  • Coach Vander Klay continues to lead on and off the court

    Sports

    A Heart-Wrenching Defeat

  • Coach Vander Klay continues to lead on and off the court

    Sports

    Wolves Basketball Keeps Rolling Through Entertaining Season

  • Coach Vander Klay continues to lead on and off the court

    Sports

    Menalito’s Journey

  • Coach Vander Klay continues to lead on and off the court

    Sports

    A journey to recovery

  • Coach Vander Klay continues to lead on and off the court

    Sports

    ‘Tis The Season

  • Coach Vander Klay continues to lead on and off the court

    Sports

    Basketball Features Seven Senior Leaders

  • Coach Vander Klay continues to lead on and off the court

    Sports

    Girls Varsity Basketball kicks off the season with a win

  • Sports

    Guys can cheer too

Coach Vander Klay continues to lead on and off the court