WELLSVILLE - Wellsville volleyball coach Dan McKinstry has reached elite status.
The veteran 62-year-old recently notched another milestone, netting his 600th career victory on Aug. 30 with a 25-23, 12-25, 25-15, 25-20 win over rival Southern Local. McKinstry becomes the fourth coach in the history of Ohio to reach 600 career wins. He joins a group also occupied by former Salem coach Don Conser.
McKinstry began his career with East Palestine in 1978, a place he coached for 20 years before spending the past 16 seasons with Wellsville.
Here's what McKinstry had to say about reaching 600 wins, what he enjoys about coaching and what the future holds:
Q: What does reaching the milestone mean to you?
A: "It's very nice. It means I've been around a long time. It means I've had some good assistant coaches and some good players. You can't do any of that on your own. I've been fortunate enough to have some really good people around me. I'm humbled to get to this point. I didn't even tell the girls about it before the game because it's not about me. I'm sure some of them knew, but I didn't tell them because that's not my style."
Q: What are some of your best memories coaching?
A: "I remember my very first win at East Palestine. It was against Jackson-Milton. I was a complete novice at the time. I never played any organized volleyball. I said I'd give it three years and see how it worked out and here I am still going at it. I remember getting win No. 500 against Lisbon. Also, reaching the regional finals in 1987 with East Palestine and again in 2002 with Wellsville, those really stick out for me."
Q: What do you like most about coaching?
A: "I love the competition. The gym is my classroom. I love interacting with the kids and getting to know them. I enjoy the opportunity to watch them learn and grow as athletes and as individuals. I'm still excited to go to practice each day. Somebody asked me recently if I coach to live or live to coach. And that is a tough question. I mean, I know the differences between the two, but I have to think about that one."
Q: How long do you see yourself continuing to coach?
A: "I have no idea how long I'll keep doing this. I got a new three-year contract, but then I'm taking it one year at a time. At the end of the year, as long as I feel good and don't have any significant health problems, I'll be back. I'll probably honor my contract, and beyond that, we'll just have to wait and see. I'm still having fun so I don't see a reason to stop yet."