Hockey Unlimited is entering its 50th year teaching boys and girls the fundamentals of ice hockey. The program also offers certain parents and grandparents the opportunity to coach and play alongside offspring.
For most of those 50 years, the organization has had one person at the helm. This year marks the 44th season Tim Dyer has been coaching for Hockey Unlimited. He began this “labor of love” when he was just out of college. After the organization’s head coach moved to Florida two years later, Mr. Dyer was offered the reins. He accepted and says he has never regretted it. He has served as Managing Director and Head Coach for nearly 42 years now. Along the way, he has been fortunate to have coached several relatives, including his two children, six nephews, one niece and a grandnephew. “In fact, almost every year, I’ve had at least one relative on the ice with me … either playing or coaching.” His son, TJ, still serves as an Assistant Coach when home from Northeastern University.
Hockey Unlimited holds all its sessions at Tabor Academy – and is believed to be the rink’s longest, continuous paying customer. Mr. Dyer credits Tabor for its outstanding cooperation and support over the years. For all 50 years, Tabor has allotted favorable ice time for this community non-profit organization. “Without Tabor and its rink, there would be no Hockey Unlimited. The School treats us like family. I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate Tabor’s help … for 5 decades. As a Tabor alum, I truly agree with and experience first-hand the School’s community outreach.” Dyer also noted that, for years, Tabor has donated ice time for family-oriented public skating sessions on Sundays and other vacation days. Coach Dyer recalls when Hockey Unlimited would hold its sessions at Tabor’s outside ice rink (with no roof) in windy, sub-freezing temperatures: “We had some frigid playing conditions in the early years – not to mention snow and freezing rain on other occasions; for some time now, we have been very grateful for the new indoor rink.”
When asked about the future of Hockey Unlimited, Mr. Dyer is realistic. “As long as my body holds up, I’m out there. When the time comes that I can’t continue, I’m confident one of the other younger coaches will step up to keep the tradition alive. We have a deep bench of assistant coaches, led by Jim Hutchinson.”
Mr. Dyer resides in Marion. He and his two children all graduated from Tabor Academy. Dyer owns and operates the Marion investment firm Dyer Capital Management.
Hockey Unlimited is planning a small ceremony Saturday, November 8 at 8:30 am to formally commemorate the start of its 50th season. Tabor’s Head of School, John Quirk, is expected to attend.