The prestigious Don Clark Award is presented by Minnesota Hockey to an individual who over a period of many years has been dedicated to the grassroots growth and development of youth hockey in Minnesota.
When it comes to youth hockey volunteers, the people who make an incredible impact over an extended period of time at the youth level are frequently driven by a sense of purpose. For Greg Gibson, that purpose was expanding opportunities for every kid, regardless of age or ability, to have a great hockey experience.
Gibson spent nearly two decades serving on the board of the Wayzata Youth Hockey Association, including an unprecedented run of 17 years as president. During that time, the Wayzata program experienced tremendous growth in all facets of their program including participation, competitive success, rink expansion and much more.
Known for his impressive organization skills, Gibson helped make the Plymouth Ice Center a destination, serving as tournament director for countless Minnesota Hockey Region and State Tournaments and hosting 32 sled hockey teams from across the country at the USA Hockey Sled Classic in 2017.
“Greg has brought groups of people and the communities of Plymouth and Wayzata together to create a great youth hockey association to ensure that kids have the opportunity to play the great game of hockey,” Erik Halverson. “The third ice sheet and training center at the Plymouth Ice Center stand here today because of Greg and his team of volunteers’ efforts to fund raise. Greg is a true local hero to the City of Plymouth and the Wayzata Youth Hockey Association.”
In addition to leading one of the largest hockey associations in the state, Gibson has also been instrumental in the growth of Junior Gold hockey in Minnesota over the past 20 years. Gibson started as a team manager for Wayzata Jr. Gold A, a position he still holds to this day, and has served on the board of directors for District 3 and Junior Gold High School League (“JGHSL”), formerly the Metro Hockey League. His dedication to supporting players across the state were on display again this past season as he led efforts to incorporate Junior Gold teams in northern Minnesota into the JGHSL schedule for the first time.
Gibson has helped elevate the JGHSL on a national level as well. In 2016, his Wayzata Jr. Gold A team won the USA Hockey High School National Championship. Two years later, Gibson served as the tournament director as Wayzata hosted the High School National Championships. Gibson also hosts an annual Jr. Gold invitational tournament that includes several out of state high school teams and spearheaded the effort to take a team of Jr. Gold players to the America Showcase in St. Louis, MO in 2020.
Minnesota Hockey would like to thank Greg Gibson for his relentless energy and dedication to growing hockey opportunities for young players in the Wayzata community and throughout Minnesota!