COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – The NWBA High Performance Committee is excited to announce that Ron Lykins will serve in the role of head coach for the 2019 U.S. Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team. Coach Lykins is the winningest international coach in NWBA history – winning Gold in three Paralympic Games (2004 and 2008 for U.S. Women; and 2016 for U.S. Men).
Lykins’ coaching resume is nothing short of amazing, having coached in 17 international competitions, reaching the gold-medal games in 15 of those, and bringing home the top podium finish in 10 events. These top podium finishes include: 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 four silver medals from the World Championships.
Coach Lykins was first appointed head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team in 2013. He immediately led the U.S. Men to a gold medal at The 2013 America’s Zone Qualification Tournament. In July of 2014, Lykins led the charge to a silver medal at the World Championships in Incheon, South Korea and subsequently followed with a gold-medal finish at the 2015 ParaPan American Games in Toronto, Canada. Most recent Lykins captured a gold medal at the 2017 America’s Cup in Cali, Colombia and a silver medal at the 2018 IWBF World Championships in Hamburg, Germany.
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 of 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 National Wheelchair Basketball Teams.
Like many others, he has spent the majority of his adult life involved in wheelchair basketball. He got his start at the University of Kentucky under the mentorship of then NWBA Commissioner and now NWBA 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 - 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.
Lykins accomplishments in the sport of wheelchair basketball were recently highlighted as he was inducted into the 2018 class of the NWBA Hall of Fame. Lykins currently resides in Columbia, Missouri, with his wife, Sandy.
The 2019 U.S. Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team will compete at the 2019 ParaPan American Games from August 23 to September 1 in Lima, Peru.