Leadership Through the Eyes of a Successful Coach

Coaching Skills

I had the pleasure of interviewing a successful baseball coach, Ryan McGinnis from Kimberly, Wisconsin to understand his leadership philosophy. I found it interesting with the many insights he was willing to share as to what makes a successful coach. His leadership skills extend far beyond his talents on the field.


Ryan McGinnis has been a baseball coach for twenty-five years and an athletic director for thirteen. He coached for four years at Xavier University (OH) before returning to Wisconsin to coach high school baseball at Oshkosh North and currently at Kimberly.

His teams have won nine FVA Conference championships (including the first-ever baseball Conference championship at Oshkosh North), nine sectional championships, and two state championships. Over thirty players have garnered Academic All-State honors. Ryan served on the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association’s (WBCA) Executive Board from 2009-2015 and was the President for two years, serves on the American Baseball Coaches Association’s (ABCA) Ethics Committee, and has been a member of the WIAA Baseball Advisory Board three different times. He has spoken at the ABCA National Convention once, a national conference in Spain, the Georgia Baseball Coach’s Clinic once, and the WBCA Clinic several times.  He has been recognized as the District Coach of the Year three times, WI State Coach of the Year twice, and ABCA’s Regional Coach of the Year twice. In addition, McGinnis has worked with USA Baseball.

McGinnis is also the Athletic Director at Kimberly H.S. where his coaches have won numerous honors for their successful work with young men, women, and teams. Participation numbers are at an all-time high and the programs as a whole have achieved great success in the realm of competition. Over the past decade, Papermaker athletic teams have won 17 state championships, 51 sectional championships, and 65 conference championships.  McGinnis has overseen a renovation project to Kimberly High School’s home baseball complex, Sunset Park, helped manage the design and building of a 52,000 square foot indoor training facility, and also recently completed a scoreboard project in the district which puts a video board at the outdoor stadium, the indoor fieldhouse, and five other scoreboards at various locations.

In addition, McGinnis has run Baseball Hitting Leagues for youth the past 21 summers and a Winter Baseball Camp for youth the past 22 winters. He has also helped organize a Special Needs Baseball Camp for the past five years. He has coached girls youth basketball in the Kimberly Area Youth Basketball Club (KAYBC) for three years, travel team baseball in the Kimberly Baseball Organization (KBO) for eight years, and serves on the KBO’s Board of Directors.

Ryan & his wife Lori have four kids: Cal (17), Megan (15), Katelyn (13), & Brooke (12).


Appleton West H.S.-3-year letter-winner, All-Conference; State Champions (1991)               1989-1991

St. Xavier University-College Baseball; Two-year captain; CIAC All-Conference                      1991-1995

Xavier University-Graduate asst. coach and part-time asst. coach                                                  1995-1999

Oshkosh North H.S.-Volunteer coach                                                                                                 1999-2000

Oshkosh North H.S.-Head Baseball Coach                                                                                         2000-2005

Kimberly H.S.-Head Baseball Coach                                                                                                    2005-Present

Fox Valley Association Conference Championships                                                                                   9

WIAA Sectional Championships                                                                                                                  8

Fox Valley Association Conference Championships                                                                              9

WIAA Sectional Championships                                                                                                                      8

WIAA Division 1 State Championships                                                                                                         2

Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Executive Board                                                            2009-2015

WIAA Baseball Advisory Board                                                                                              2008-2010, 2013-2015

ABCA Ethics Committee                                                                                                                         2016-Present

Presenter at ABCA National Clinic                                                                                                       2014

Presenter at the Georgia Dugout Clinic                                                                                              2016

Presenter at the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association’s Clinic                                              Multiple times

WBCA District Coach of the Year twice                                                                                              2007 & 2008

WBCA State Coach of the Year once                                                                                                   2007

ABCA Diamond Regional Coach of the Year twice                                                                           2007 & 2010

Oshkosh North Hitting Leagues                                                                                                           2000-2005

Kimberly Hitting Leagues                                                                                                                       2005-Present

Youth Baseball Coach                                                                                                                             2009-Present

Youth Girls Basketball Coach                                                                                                                2013-2015

Kimberly Baseball Organization Board of Directors                                                                        2005-Present


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