Born to Coach: Tri-City Americans - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Born to Coach: Tri-City Americans

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Kennewick, WA--- Some athletes are born to be coaches. The Americans leading man Jim Hiller, always had a knack for coaching.   During his playing days in college and professionally in the 1990's, he knew coaching was in his blood.

     A former teammate on the Canadian national team in 1995, Kelly Askew, saw Hiller's leadership ability from the get go. Receiving plenty of pointers on and off the ice from Hiller.  It's no surprise to Askew, or to coach that Hiller took a spot behind the bench, after hanging up his playing skates in 2002.

    Hiller said, "One of the advantages of knowing you're going to be a coach while you're still playing is you can kind of take a straw poll on what the coach is saying... how he's acting and treating people... As a player with the eye on someday being a coach yourself."

   Askew added, "For me personally, he's a great guy to go to as a mentor and someone to you know ask those questions that you know sometimes the young rookies are hesitant to ask. His on ice presence was his big shot."

      Hiller in his first two seasons as head coach of Tri-City has won 110 games, including the franchises first Western Conference championship.