Ron Lykins is the winningest international coach in NWBA history – winning three Paralympic Games (2004 and 2008 for U.S. Women; and 2016 for U.S. Men). He presently coaches the U.S. Men’s National Team in hopes of defending its 2016 Paralympic gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Lykins’ coaching resume is nothing short of amazing, having coached in 16 international competitions, reaching the gold-medal games in 14 of those, and bringing home the top podium finish in 10 events. This includes: three Paralympic Games; one World Championships; two Para Pan American Games; and four American Zonal Qualifiers. He also has a Paralympic silver medal in 1992, and three silver medals from the World Championships.
The style and system that his teams have run during Paralympic years have revolutionized the way wheelchair basketball is played around the world. Other countries are trying to duplicate and emulate what he has done with Team USA. On top those accolades, Lykins is the first head coach to win Paralympic gold medals with both the U.S. Men’s and U.S. Women’s Paralympic Teams.
Like many others, he has spent the majority of his adult life in wheelchair basketball. He got his start at the University of Kentucky under the mentorship of then NWBA commissioner and Hall of Famer Stan Labanowich. What started out as a college internship turned into a passion, career and ultimately his life’s work. Lykins has coached at every level within the NWBA. He has coached within the Intercollegiate Division at the University of Kentucky, University of Wisconsin at Whitewater and University of Missouri. He also coached at the community level with the Atlanta Hawks Wheelchair Basketball Team and Minnesota Junior Rolling Timberwolves. Lykins’ greatest successes and honors have been achieved during his time spent on the sidelines for Team USA.