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Hockey coach shapes players off the ice

EDMOND, Okla. - By day, he's a mild mannered pharmacist. But after hours, the white jacket comes off and Craig McAlister laces up the ice skates.

His love of the sport began as a child, and he even played hockey in college. His passion for the ice never melted.

For the last 12 years, McAlister has been a volunteer coach for the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) Hockey team.

"I'm glad to be able to help these young men out in life. So many coaches do the exact same thing that we do. They give their time, effort, money. Anything they can to help these guys prosper and be better and give back to the community when they get older," said McAlister.

Coach McAlister and his wife, Eva, handle all ticket sales, fundraisers, travel arrangements, and even the team's smelly laundry.

It's their dedication to these young men that inspired retired UCO professor, Sue Lynn Sasser, to nominate McAlister for Pay It 4Ward.

"He's a life changer, definitely. The kids are a reflection of the character that he is," Sasser told News 4.

Ryan Featherstone from First Fidelity Bank helped us pay it forward who said that, “listening to his story, seeing the venue, it's inspiring to see the sacrifice and selflessness put forth.”

McAlister was distracted with team practice when he surprised him with $400.

"We'll use this money to feed these guys at nationals. Go Bronchos!” said McAlister.

The Bronchos have several Conference and National Championships. But more importantly - McAlister is coaching young men to be winners off the ice, too.

Pay It 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.