DETROIT - Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock got his start well before he even became a coach.
If he wasn't behind the bench for the Red Wings, he would be involved in the academic world.
Babcock is a teacher and at one point he taught a much younger crew: Kindergartners.
"I was a young guy then. I was at Selwyn House, a private boys school in Montreal. I remember I used to teach kindergarten physical education, if you can believe that," Babcock said. "And then I would walk them out and their mums would pick 'em up at noon because they were half-dayers. It was great. It was a lot of fun. A lot of energy. They were fired-up kids"
He takes care of his players, but he also has a family which he adores. His family life is something he likes to keep private. With a wife and three kids, Babcock is two people, and which Babcock you get depends on the time of the year.
"My wife says there's winter Mike and summer Mike," he said. "Summer Mike never runs out of red wine or beer and there's lots of boats on the dock. My neighbors in Detroit probably hardly even know me."
He has had his ups and downs in his professional coaching career. He won a Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2008, but also lost twice in the Cup final -- 2003 and 2009. When asked what his secret to success as a coach is, he gave a direct answer.
"I work very, very hard. I believe in preparation. I am little bit fearful not to be the best," he said.
Babcock admits his life is hockey-oriented 24/7. But he's keeping his eye on the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl because of one man.
"I'm a Belichick man," he said.
Would Mike Babcock the player be able to play for Mike Babcock the coach?
"That's a real good question. I like to win, so probably. Now, would I have appreciate him at the moment? Not some days. But looking back, I would have probably understood what had to happen," he said.
There has always been one asset that Babcock has which many mature men would kill for: His thick hair. Everyone wants to know the secret to his follicle success.
"I don't spend a lot whole lot of time worrying about it. I probably did as a young guy. I get it cut, shower, use mayo or whatever junk in it. Whatever, I don't what it is, that stuff, whatever's in the dressing room."
-- Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said he is two different people: The tough, serious coach Babcock during hockey season and the fun-loving husband and father during the summer.
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