Dale Gonyea has been involved with the Rice Lake Hockey Association since its founding in 1968, and was equally involved in Rice Lake Youth Baseball. He has held every position in both organizations. He was deliberate in planning every practice drill and determining how to get the best out of each player. Dale was eloquent in explaining the reasons to rely on fundamentals. His mantra was to get up, show up, learn, and grow. He refrained from the negative talk, reflected on opportunities, and coached with a controlled demeanor and class, expecting the same out of his players. Over the years, his players continued to buy into his coaching style. “It’s not where we start, but where we finish” was at the forefront of each new season. Winning was the byproduct of his coaching techniques. Dale coached hockey for 32 seasons, from 1973 to 2009, with 600+ wins and 15 State appearances which included three WAHA State Championships, three State runner-ups, five third place finishes and four NOR-WIS League Championships. He also served on the Hockey Board from 1976-1985. Dale coached all three of his sons and two grandsons through the program.
Gonyea was instrumental in developing officials. From 1976-1991 he trained 250+ officials. He also served on the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association Officials Board for two years and served on the Rice Lake Youth Baseball Board from 1968-1984, serving as president for 10 years, which included founding the Rice Lake T-Ball program and the 13-year-olds Babe Ruth program, both in the late 1960’s. Under his leadership, the program grew to over 400 kids. He coached for 16 years, compiling 250 wins, and also served as President of the Heart of the North Babe Ruth League from 1980-1984. The numerous trophies serve as an external symbol of his winning success, but his fondest trophies are the countless connections to this day with players and parents alike. Dale was a salesman for Williams Steel and Hardware in Minneapolis for 45 years, serving a three-state area. He is a 1961 graduate of Altoona High School and he and his wife Judee live in Rice Lake.