Us vs. the Virus: 10 Questions with Chris Kuchar

CARL RUSSO/Staff file photoChris Kuchar led Andover boys hockey to it's first Super 8 berth. He is now the head coach of Malden Catholic boys hockey.

Chris Kuchar led Andover High boys hockey to record heights, helping the Golden Warriors qualify for the elite Super 8 tournament for the first time in program history.

In five seasons as Andover coach (2014-19), Kuchar delivered a 66-31-15 record and led Andover to another Division 1 North title game.

Now the head coach of Malden Catholic hockey, Kuchar took the time to answer questions about how he’s doing during the coronavirus outbreak:

 

1. How has the shutdown of sports affected you personally?

It’s affected my kids’ sports. My 9-year old daughter Sofia plays soccer and this year was going to play softball and I was looking forward to watching her. My 12 year-old son Tyler plays baseball in spring/summer and I coach his team and I was looking forward to that as well. Now, both are canceled. Even though hockey season is over for me, it never ends. I’m constantly preparing for next season.

2. Do you know anyone personally inflicted with the virus and how are they doing?

I have a very close friend, who I’ve known since elementary school, along with his wife that tested positive. He’s a big sports guy as well and is a bigger supporter on the local high school sports scene. We are around the same age and he’s in great shape. He told me he battled this thing hard and it was legit. He was down and out for nearly two weeks with high fever, aches, pains, labored breathing.

3. What were your goals coming into the spring and how have they changed?

Once hockey is over, I try to get myself healthier. Coaching is a grind and a lot of time goes into it. This lockdown started as hockey wrapped up. So working from home and not having to get home from work and go to a spring sport has allowed me to focus on my health.

4. If there has been a positive thing to come out of the virus, what is it?

Working from home has allowed me to be around my family more. My wife Karin is a coaching widow and has been for 20 years; now I get to be home with her and the kids more and we aren’t running out the door after work to get to soccer, baseball, softball or karate.

5. What makes you most upset about the people and the virus?

My wife goes out when she has to, but that’s not often. I am in a high risk category with asthma and cronic lung issues. My son also has asthma. I just had bad pneumonia and tested positive for the flu this hockey season. It was the sixth year in a row I’ve had pneumonia (and I get a flu shot every year). It’s no joke.

6. What is your overall assessment of our political leaders?

I think overall they are managing an epidemic like nothing the world has ever seen. We joke sometimes as coaches when we come across a tough decision or event that happens and we say “this isn’t in the (imaginary) coaches handbook.” Well, we are in similar times.

7. With no NBA, NHL or March Madness, how are you getting your sports fix these days?

Lots of “classics”. Been watching the Bruins 2011 Cup run, NHL network classic Stanley Cup Games from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

8. Have you been ordering out at all, and if so, what restaurant is your go-to place?

We’ve avoided going out as much as possible and unfortunately that includes take out. I feel badly for all those servers, bartenders and owners who’ve been hit hard by this. I’m looking forward to going out as a family and having a family meal and support local owners. We like Perry’s Plate (Andover), Sushi Time (Plaistow) and 110 Grille (Haverhill).

9. What’s your go-to movie or show to stream?

I grew up in a family of cooks. My father owned a restaurant in Bradford in the 80s, my oldest brother owned a successful restaurant for 17 years in Salisbury (Stripers) until 2013 and my other brother works at very successful restaurant in Hampton N.H. (CR’s). He’s been laid off because of COVID. I watch cooking channel or food network a lot. But along with hockey classics I’ve watched some of my favorite movies like Silence of the Lambs, Gladiator, Braveheart and Shawshank Redemption.

10. What will be the thing you’ll most want to do right away post-coronavirus crisis?

Golf with my buddies, have a few laughs, enjoy the outside together again and support the local businesses.

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