Grant Clafton talks taking over as head coach of his alma mater Grand Rapids
In 2020 Grant Clafton stepped down from his post as head coach of Greenway boys hockey to spend more time with family. Just three years later the call of the rink brought him back to the bench.
Last week it was announced Clafton had accepted the position of head coach for Grand Rapids boys hockey, a program he graduated from in 2001.
“When it came about I thought well, timing is never great, but might be a good opportunity to get back into it,” Clafton shared. “The tradition of the programs kind of keeps pulling you back. We have, between our whole Iron Range area, a lot of good tradition that we can keep installing in these kids.”
Clafton spent five years at the helm of Greenway from 2015-2020. He led them to three Section 7A championship games, and a Class A state tournament runner-up finish in 2019.
Now in charge of a AA team, he’s ready for the new challenges.
“It’s kind of a patience game. I think the biggest thing is just installing the work ethic and the discipline and being as detailed as possible in all aspects, whether it’s on the ice or off the ice. I think if we can do those things, we’ll have a good chance for good season,” Clafton said.
His Grand Rapids head coaching debut will be at home November 22. They will host Hibbing/Chisholm, a team Clafton served as an assistant coach for from 2010-2013 before he left to serve a one season stint as an assistant for Grand Rapids (2014-2015).