Meet Wildcats Coach Paul Baxter - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Meet Wildcats Coach Paul Baxter

The Wichita Falls Wildcats have had four head coaches in their last two seasons, but it looks like they might have one to stay this time.

They hired former NHL Star and AHL head coach Paul Baxter to be their new Head Coach and General Manager.

Last week Newschannel 6 sat down with coach Baxter, and he was very clear about why he came to Wichita Falls.

"The only reason I came here was to win a championship," Baxter said.

Baxter has plenty of experience, over 50,000 hours in professional coaching by his estimate.

Not only that, but Baxter played almost 500 NHL games, racking up over 1500 penalty minutes.

His 409 PIMs in the 1981-82 season is the second-highest total ever in a single season.

But as a coach his philosophy has changed.

"The new way the game is played, everybody's involved on offense, and everybody's involved on defense," Baxter explained.

The Wildcats signed him to a five-year deal, longer than any they've ever given a coach, but he's not looking at it like that.

"I don't really look at it as a five-year deal," Baxter said. "I look at, you know, 'What can I do today that's going to further promote that championship culture?'"

He believes a championship culture means bringing in quality players who are driven to succeed.

"There has to be a baseline of talent, there has to be a baseline of character, there has to be a baseline of energy levels where you've got people that are motivated to be champions," Baxter explains.

He says that the most important thing to remember is that you always need to be getting better.

Last year's Wildcats got off to a great start, winning the NAHL Showcase Tournament to start the year, but didn't build on it.

He says that won't be an issue this year.

"If you think you had a good day yesterday, and you think you're going to be the same the next day, it's never going to happen," Baxter says.

"You're either going to be better or you're going to be worse, and if you're focused on being better, you're probably going to get better. If you're satisfied with being the same, it's not going to happen, you're going to get worse."

Baxter grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba in the early 1970's, just before the NHL's Jets were founded. So who did he look up to growing up?

'Number Four', Bobby Orr. The greatest defenseman of all time.

A very good choice.

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