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Rick Wesp Honored with 2019 Don Clark Award

By Minnesota Hockey, 04/15/19, 2:45PM CDT


Born and raised in Anoka, Rick Wesp is a shining example of the type of people who make the community-based model in Minnesota the best in the world.

Wesp played youth and high school hockey in Anoka. After playing a couple years of junior hockey, Wesp married his wife, Mary Kay, and returned to Anoka where they would raise their three children.

It didn’t take long after returning home for Wesp to rejoin the Anoka Hockey program, this time as a coach. Coaching quickly became a passion and Wesp spent nearly 25 years as an integral part of the coaching team in Anoka. Over that time, he spent time at nearly every level. His teams were consistently successful, making nine combined trips to state tournaments at the Peewee, Bantam, Midget and High School levels, including winning Anoka’s first ever Minnesota Boys State High School Hockey State Tournament in 2003.

Wesp’s impact on hockey in Anoka and the surrounding area extends far beyond the kids he coached though. He spent 22 years on the Anoka Arena Board and continues to serve as their gambling manager, raising funds to support the rink and the youth program.

He has also spent 36 years serving in a variety of positions for District 10. He has played a key role in helping District 10 run District, Region and State Tournaments, raising funds through their annual golf tournament, assisting District 10 associations in their fundraising efforts and leading District 10’s High Performance and Tier I 14 and 15 teams. In addition, Wesp has served for 27 years on the Suburban Hockey Referees Association board and is their current Treasurer.

Long known for his sense of humor and storytelling, Wesp’s caring and upbeat personality has helped him make a positive impact on kids and adults in every position he’s served, and when it comes to setting out to achieve certain goals or pursing what’s best for the players, there are few who can match his focus and passion.

Thank you Rick for your numerous years of selfless service and for all you have done to make the game fun for players, coaches and volunteers alike! 

Previous recipients

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.

Year Recipient Hometown
2018 Bruce Kruger Plymouth
2017 Robert Halverson New Hope
2016 Roger Johnson Fergus Falls
2015 Walter Bush Edina
Peter Lindberg Minnetonka
2014 Tim Sweezo Maple Plain
2013 Lynn Olson Minneapolis
2012 Jim Bullard Blaine
2011 Dave Hendrickson Virginia
2010 Moose Younghans St. Paul
2009 Gerry Brown St. Louis Park
2008 Louie Schmitz Farmington
2007 Glenn Young Litchfield
2006 Dan Smeins Luverne
2005 Wally Odell Elk River
2004 Ted Brill Grand Rapids
2003 Elmer Walls Baxter
2002 Robert Utect Bloomington
2001 Ken Austin Owatonna
2000 Everett Riley International Falls

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