Carlson Says Coaching Still Rewarding After 400 Wins

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By James Steward

The Cedar Rapids Roughriders are the hottest team in the USHL. The Riders have won 10 of their last 11, including a shootout victory in Des Moines Tuesday.

That gave Head Coach and General Manager Mark Carlson his 400th win of his career. He's just the sixth coach in league history to surpass the 400-win plateau.

Carlson is in his 12th year with the Riders. And he's the only coach they've ever had.

"The thing that's made me want to stay here is that the league is just so challenging," Carlson said. "I mean, every year is a tremendous challenge to put a team together, replacing 13, 14, 15 players."

"All the teams in the league are good," Carlson said. "The coaches are great, the players are great and so the constant challenge is there and that certainly helps you get better as a coach and as a person. That's why I've been around. I love it."

When asked if he had another 400 wins in him, Carlson just laughed and said, "Well we'll see. You know, I love the league and it's just so rewarding to play a small role in helping these young men move on to college hockey. Now we have nine players that have played in the National Hockey League."

"It's a great age group [to coach]," he said. "You really feel like you can have an impact - a positive impact - on the guys and hopefully continue the great work their parents have done, and their coaches before us have done, and that's what makes it a lot of fun."

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