Coach of the Year: Tyler Hynes, driven by those around him

Tyler Hynes, men’s ice hockey head coach, received the 2022 Coach of the Year award during the final week of the winter season. The award was presented to Hynes as he led his team and first graduating class to a record of 20-5-1 on the year.

“It was special (to get the award),” said Hynes. “It is a staff award though, because there are a lot of great people around this program. One person can not hold it all up.”

Hynes attributes all of his success to those around him, encapsulating the definition of a true leader.

“Lucas Bombardier was awesome as my assistant, he came in and just really elevated our program and continues to do so,” said Hynes. “Our athletic trainer Tyler Brady has helped me so many times and chipped in when most trainers would not in those situations. There are so many things that have to go right to be recognized for that (award).”

Before his coaching career at Wilkes, Hynes played hockey at Albany Academy. He worked his way up in the junior leagues and then completed four years at the Division I Union College as a three-time ECAC Hockey All-Academic honoree.

From being coached by Brad Shaver in his early hockey career, Hynes was inspired and wanted to leave an impression on future skaters.

“(Shaver) impacted me growing up,” said Hynes. “He helped me structure my life and streamlined my priorities. That kind of changed my trajectory and if I could be a little piece of that to somebody else, then I am doing my job.”

Hynes began his career at Wilkes as the assistant coach in 2018, the year the program began. He became the head coach in 2019 and currently holds the position.

In his first year as head coach,

Hynes and the Colonels won the MAC Championship as they held a 6-0 record in the conference.

“Following our first year when our previous coach took a different job at another school, we know as a group that Coach Hynes was going to be the perfect man to take the job,” said senior Michael Gurska. “We have had the utmost confidence in him from the day he took over and I am happy to say that after my time here is done, we will continue to be great friends.”

Hynes was honored with the MAC Co- Coach of the Year award and then he led his team to the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) Championship Series, that particular season ended with 19 wins.

In three seasons as head coach, Hynes has led Wilkes to an overall 46 wins with 19 losses and one tie. The Colonels have appeared in the UCHC tournament for these three seasons, as well as their first season with Hynes as an assistant coach. The ice hockey program collected two MAC Championships along with one second-place title under Hynes, but appeared in the top two all four years of the program.

“Hynes did a tremendous job leading this group,” said senior Jay Gallagher. “But at the end of the day, he is an even better person and that is what I will remember most about playing for him.”

To Hynes, the awards and statistics are important, but the bond between the players and the coaching staff is what leads to success.

“My coaching philosophy is to touch the heart before you take the hand,” said Hynes. “Connect and build a relationship if you want people to follow you as their leader.”

“Coach Hynes has taught all of us what it means and how important it is to be a great teammate,” said Gurska. “He has helped guide our culture to be more concerned with the day-to-day process, this mindset has helped us become successful because we focus on the small details and habits necessary to win, and that has led to strong results.”

This year marked Hynes’ third season as head coach. The accomplishments from this season will be remembered as this was Hynes’ first graduating class and the Colonels collected the honor of winning the MAC Championship game on the program’s first senior night.

“(Winning the championship) was really special because of the group that won it,” said Hynes. “The seniors and the leaders that we had, I know they deserved it because I see what they do every day.”

Unfortunately, the season came to an end as their run at the 2022 UCHC Championship ended as they lost in the final round, but Hynes and his team are looking to capitalize on the experience.

“We got to practice for another week and build our program for the future,” said Hynes. “A lot of the guys who may not have gotten a chance to play this season got to attend that game, see it, and absorb that environment. They will be ready to go now that the torch is passed, it is their time.”

Hynes looks forward to the offseason as he and his team will be able to support other Wilkes athletic teams and have time to prepare for the 2022-23 ice hockey season.

All stats are from and

The Beacon/Baylee Guedes Head coach Tyler Hynes gets back to working in his office as the ice hockey season concluded.