I have followed Shaker hockey since the early 1990s. With some really great teams, some average teams and some teams that struggled, the one constant was Head Coach Mike Bartley. I have known Coach to be a very gentle and soft-spoken man. He is very gracious and never draws attention to himself. It’s all about the players. His calm demeanor allows the players to play the game he has prepared them to play. The focus remains on the game and not on an overactive coach who can be a major distraction.
Conversations with Coach Bartley are very insightful. His knowledge of hockey is unsurpassed; his reflections are very honest and direct. He also is very proud of his family: wife, Stephanie, and sons, Matt and Tim. Having taught both Bartley boys, it is always good to get an update on where life has taken them.
For those of us parents who have had the experience of Coach Bartley teaching our young players, we are truly privileged. My son, Adam, was coached by Coach Bartley in Mighty Mites, a young player’s first experience on the ice. My son has great memories of his time with Coach Bartley and even after 10 years of hockey, Adam still loves to skate with Coach.
As life moves on for Coach Bartley, I can only wish the best for him. His presence on the ice will be missed, but his legacy will live on through all the stories shared by his past players. I would personally like to thank Coach for introducing my son to his life’s passion and introducing my wife, Karen, and daughter, Maria, to the game they so passionately love.
Mike Bartley announced his retirement as the coach of Shaker’s hockey teams on July 8 to the Plain Dealer. He will continue teaching Physical Education at Woodbury Elementary School. Walter Slovikovski teaches math at the high school.