Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and the “C” You in the Major Leagues Foundation (CYITML) have announced Marc Asquith, head softball coach at North Kansas City’s Winnetonka High School, as the June Blue KC Coaches with Character honoree.
“It was a surprise, for sure,” said Asquith, who also serves as an assistant coach for the Winnetonka baseball team. “My years of coaching and focus to help continue to develop programs that give all students a chance to play is something that has always been in my heart. It is truly humbling and an honor to have that recognized.”
After accepting a full-time teaching position at Winnetonka out of college in 2002, Asquith realized quickly the impact he could make on young men and women outside the classroom by coaching. With a love for both softball and baseball, it also presented him with a chance to be around the game while teaching life lessons.
“A coach’s biggest impact on an athlete’s life isn’t on whether the team wins or loses; it’s about the difference the athlete can make off the field throughout his or her life,” said Dayton Moore, Founder and Executive Director of “C” You In The Major Leagues. “Coach Asquith’s teams have been successful, but he got into coaching so he could make that difference, so this is a well-deserved honor for him.”
“As a coach I have the opportunity to help build confidence, find passion and develop young people who can contribute to the community,” said Asquith, whose teams have achieved a combined three conference and three district championships since his arrival. “We talk a lot about finding the lesson and learning from our mistakes and our successes.”
When it comes to his athletes, one main area of concentration for Asquith is academics. He encourages his players that “better focus in the classroom equals better focus on the field,” and challenges them to raise the team’s GPA year after year.
“We stress to our athletes that they are student-athletes and that they should lead in the classroom and on the field,” said Asquith, who had five softball players make the Missouri All-Academic Team for maintaining above a 3.5 GPA during the season. “It’s rewarding to watch their success after they graduate both personally and professionally and hear from them throughout the years.”
Asquith was nominated for the Blue KC Coaches with Character honor by North Kansas City School District volunteer and Winnetonka parent Brian Mercer, who cites Asquith as an asset to the school and the district.
“Coach Asquith has done an exemplary job of not only keeping his softball players in a competitive spirit each season, but also molding them to be great students in the classroom and good people later in life,” said Mercer. “He shows great character in putting each of his student-athletes first in the classroom and on the field.”
Throughout the Major League Baseball season, Blue KC and CYITML recognizes six area coaches as Blue KC Coaches with Character. All honorees are chosen based on nominations from the public, which will be accepted until early September.
“Coach Asquith is helping his student-athletes to see the benefits of being well-rounded young men and women,” said Christina Lively, Department Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Blue KC. “The lessons he is teaching them about the importance of academics and community outreach will help them for years to come, and we are thrilled to recognize him as a Blue KC Coach with Character.”
Selected from nominations submitted by fans, with one honoree announced each month throughout the 2018 MLB season, each Blue KC Coaches with Character honoree will be interviewed on 810 WHB, receive a VIP gift package from Blue KC and CYITML, and will be invited to meet Moore at an event in September at Kauffman Stadium. Additionally, Blue KC will make a $2,000 donation to CYITML in honor of each selected coach.
Those who would like to nominate an amateur coach from the KC area for Blue KC Coaches with Character are encouraged to visit CYouInTheMajorLeagues.org/bluekc.