So long, Ian Ross
By TONY WHITE
GRAFTON is about to lose one of its most dedicated hockey sons.
Grafton High School teacher Ian Ross, a NSW state Under-40 and 45 hockey representative for the past six years and highly respected coach, has accepted a position next year as head teacher, industrial arts at Waratah High, Newcastle.
The 47-year-old has been an integral part of the local hockey scene since returning to Grafton in 1992.
After attending Grafton High, Ross left for Goulburn to complete his teachers' degree then spent 12 years in the Northern Territory before returning 13 years ago to take up a position as technology teacher at his former school.
He played A grade with the Barbarian Club in Grafton founded by former school mates, Peter Ryder and Peter Hackett, winning A grade premierships in 2000 and 2003.
As a coach, Ross has accumulated an impressive list of credentials.
Apart from coaching several men's and women's A grade teams and primary school sides involved in The Daily Examiner hockey competition, he coached Grafton High School's hockey team to win State-wide knockout championships in 1998 and again this year.
They also won the 2005 Inter Regional Championships.
Along with fellow Grafton High school teacher and close friend, Kerry Wilsmore, Ross has coached and given presentations to elite junior hockey players and had a head coaching role at various high performance talent camps.
Married to wife Jean, Ross has four children ? Jessica, 20, Mackenzie, 18, Taylor, 13 and Caleb, 9. All are avid hockey players.
He nominated playing alongside Mackenzie in the 2003 Barbarians premiership-winning A grade team as 'my most memorable moment in hockey'.
His most embarrassing incident?
"I guess getting sent off on the odd occasion for bad tackles," Ross said.
He credited Wilsmore, a fellow Level 2 coach, as 'being a long term friend and mentor'.
Ross has been a dynamic contributor and inspiration at many levels to the local hockey scene.