Minnesota Youth Athletic Services (MYAS) is excited to announce Associate Director, Richard (Rich) Penick, will be shifting his primary focus to a newly created role within the organization, a role which centers around strategic growth and new program development.
“We have been blessed to have Rich as a member of our organization since 1995. His passion, knowledge, and commitment embody who we are and what we believe at MYAS. He has spent nearly three decades leading the basketball department and improving the delivery of youth sports services. Rich has been my colleague since 1999 and we as an organization are aware of many untapped areas of additional programming and services inside the sports we currently serve, as well as the possibility of providing opportunities in other sports we currently do not serve,” MYAS Executive Director, Dawson Blanck, said.
Penick has been a foundational pillar during his tenure with the MYAS, providing stability and insight that has produced exceptional program growth and development across the organization. Under his guidance and teamwork, programs like the MYAS Grade State Basketball Championship have grown annually from just over 300 boys’ and girls’ teams in 1995 to 1,456 teams in 2022. His tournament administration and programming expertise have certainly played a significant role in the growth of this huge event—creating hundreds of thousands of exceptional participation experiences for youth basketball players in Minnesota.
Blanck further added: “As the strategic planning process and development of the new MYAS organizational chart took shape, I immediately sat down and discussed this new and exciting role with Rich, as it has been designated as a strategic focus for MYAS. I am confident under Rich’s direction this new focus of strategic and expansion of additional program offerings will greatly benefit and positively impact youth sports participants across the state of Minnesota, in partnership with the Minnesota youth community-based sports community.”
Penick’s first area of strategic growth has been a concentrated effort to provide state tournament opportunities for all community-based youth basketball teams throughout greater Minnesota. His outreach has already produced tremendous momentum via a new MYAS event, the Greater Minnesota State Basketball Championships, scheduled to be held in March.
Rich Penick on his new role inside MYAS: “This is just Dawson’s vision on how to let the old guy ride off into the sunset. All joking aside, this new role is genuinely exciting. It will allow me to research and develop new programs, sports, and other activities that I've always wanted us to be involved with. An exciting start is the new program we've created and activated, the 2023 Greater MN Basketball Championships. This event is designed specifically for the smaller community teams from across the state.”
Throughout his years of service at the MYAS, he has assisted in almost every MYAS sport and program past and present, has worked in and overseen the basketball program for most of his 28 years of service, and even handled the accounting duties for a brief time. In 2017, he was inducted into the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Honor for his work on behalf of the MYAS with Minnesota high school basketball.
Penick added: “This new role also provides me the opportunity to be intimately involved with teaching, training, and mentoring our newer staff members by sharing my acquired knowledge of youth sports. I intend to educate them about the design and implementation of our programs, how to schedule a tournament from beginning to end, and how to identify new areas for growth within existing programs. These are all exciting things to be able to share with new representatives of our organization.
“Exciting times are ahead for the MYAS as new sports and programs are developed and implemented across the state. I'm looking forward to meeting new youth sports leaders from across the state, formulating partnerships with organizations that have not had previous relationships with the MYAS, and creating new events and programs that further our mission. I cannot think of a better way to close out my career here at MYAS.”
About the Minnesota Youth Athletic Services
Minnesota Youth Athletic Services, Inc. (MYAS; www.myas.org) originated in 1991 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and enhancing youth sports programs and services (leagues, tournaments, events, training/development, and educational offerings and resources) for Minnesota’s youth athletes, coaches, parents, officials/umpires, and parent-volunteer athletic associations. Today, the MYAS is Minnesota's largest multi-sport organization and acts as a central clearinghouse for youth sports with more than 150,000 kids participating in programs and services each year. The MYAS is committed to providing a safe, positive, and productive experience for today’s youth athletes.