Rick Wynn: It Couldn’t Be Done Without… People Like YOU!
November 29th, 2021
Rick Wynn’s athletic resume runs deep in the world of USA Hockey, but the highlight of his coaching career finds its roots at Turnstone and it may surprise you.
Rick’s hockey career has been a lifelong journey, playing high-level AAA travel hockey from the ages of 6-20. During this time, he competed in several USA Hockey National Championships as a player and continued on to earn championship berths as a coach later in life, as well. The pinnacle of his athletic career saw him playing for the Fort Wayne Komets during the 1978-1980 seasons.
After retiring from competitive hockey as a player, Rick began his journey as a head coach in 1982. He coached all levels of youth hockey and decided to hang up his coaching hat on a high in 2016 after his Leo Lions Hockey team won the ISHSHA Class 3A State Championship.
What he didn’t know then was that he had yet to reach his peak.
When Turnstone Flyers sled hockey head coach and longtime friend of Rick’s experienced a medical emergency, Rick was there to lend a helping hand. Rick stepped in to travel with the Turnstone Flyers sled hockey team to ensure their eligibility at the 2017 National Disabled Hockey Festival. Although Rick didn’t know much about the new-to-him world of sled hockey, he took the challenge head-on. It only took one weekend before Rick fell in love with coaching the Turnstone Flyers - and the feeling was mutual.
The Turnstone Flyers athletes will rave about how Coach Wynn continuously goes above and beyond for them.
“It could be anything - from someone needing the correct equipment or even a place to stay, Coach will find a way to make it happen,” said former Flyer, Kevin Hughes. Because of his generous heart, passion for sled hockey, and extensive hockey knowledge, Rick has been able to take the Flyers’ program to the next level.
Five years later, Rick’s impromptu sled hockey coaching experience has turned into a family affair. Two of his sons, Drew and Caleb, have also become assistant coaches for the Turnstone Flyers, traveling to out-of-town tournaments and helping their dad at practice. The “Wynn Trio” has had their perspective changed because of these athletes and now they’ll be first in line to tell anyone that a disability does not define one’s ability.
“These athletes compete hard and never complain. The passion they have for the game and the mutual respect they have for their opponents is something I have never seen in all the years I have coached.”
The Wynns’ commitment to empowerment isn’t limited to sled hockey these days – their advocacy for adaptive sports shines through in multiple facets. The family is also active JERK League members, participating every summer in the annual golf outing that raises funds for Turnstone. And, of course, it only makes sense for the outing to highlight Sled Hockey, where if you can shoot the puck past the Flyers’ goalie on the eighth hole, you’ll earn a stroke off your score.
We couldn’t do it without people like Rick Wynn and his sons, Drew and Caleb, who use their time and coaching talents to actively create possibilities, empowering athletes to reach their highest potential, both on and off the ice.