The PCA Blog - Tampa Bay

Profile of Lightning's Bill Wickett

03.14.2016

LOCATION:
Tampa, Florida

TITLE/ROLE:
Executive Vice President of Communications, Tampa Bay Lightning

HOBBIES:
I enjoy playing golf, being outside and, most of all, spending with my wife and three children.

FAVORITE SPORTS MOVIE:
Miracle (The story of the 1980 gold medal U.S. National Olympic team)
Cold War On Ice: Summit Series ‘72

FAVORITE SPORTS BOOK:
Fab Five by Mitch Albom (a nod to my industry roots at the University of Michigan)

FAVORITE SONG:
Thunderstruck by AC/DC

FAVORITE MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE:
“Our mission is to try and become the Green Bay Packers of the NHL, to try and become world class…we still have a ways to go, and when we get there I will raise the targets because you can't stop chasing excellence.'' – Jeff Vinik, Owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning

SPORTS BACKGROUND:
I have participated in sports (not at very high levels) my entire life, and I have worked on the business side of sports since my sophomore year at the University of Michigan. In addition to working for the Lightning (where I have been for 16 years), I have worked in full-time capacities at Michigan and with the Detroit Pistons.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT THE GAME OF HOCKEY?
What’s not to love?!? It’s non-stop action and excitement that rewards hard work and a willingness to do the tough things that nobody wants to do. The combination of strength, speed and conditioning required of NHL players is unparalleled in professional sports. I consider myself fortunate to have a front row seat to witness their unique blend of skills.

AS A PROFESSIONAL SPORTS ORGANIZATION, HOW DO THE LIGHTNING VIEW THEIR ROLE IN THE COMMUNITY?
Jeff Vinik has made it clear that he wants the Lightning to not only be champions in the NHL, but also champions in the community. He believes firmly in the idea of community service, and that extends from coaches to players to all members of the administrative staff. We all feel a personal responsibility to continue to make Tampa Bay a thriving, generous and giving community.

WHAT IMPACT DO YOU SEE THE LIGHTNING HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY LEAGUE HAVING AMONG THE YOUTH IN TAMPA BAY?
The goal in our Community Hockey Development Department is to grow the game at all levels in the Tampa Bay community. High school hockey is no different – over time, we aspire to grow the game, get more kids representing their high school and turning hockey into a mainstream varsity sport – no different than has recently happened with lacrosse.

DESCRIBE A TIME WHEN A COACH MADE AN IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE BEYOND SPORTS.
Probably a different answer than most would have, but I’d like to credit Will Robinson, whom I worked with at the Detroit Pistons. Coach Robinson broke down racial barriers his entire life and became the first African-American head coach in NCAA Division I Basketball. Coach Robinson understood patience and tolerance to break down these barriers, but he never knew the word “no”. He passed away at 96 years old in 2008, and any of those lucky enough to know him were positively affected by his teachings.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF WHAT PCA TEACHES?
With my own children participating in youth and high school sports, I have personally witnessed the important role that athletics plays in the development of non-cognitive skills – perseverance, discipline, teamwork, and overcoming adversity. These skills not only benefit children in the classroom, but eventually as adults in the job or profession they choose. Sports make a big difference in childhood development, and the fact that PCA focuses on this aspect of athletics is of greatest appeal to me.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO A PROSPECTIVE PARTNER OF PCA?
Welcome to the squad! This is a team effort, by working together toward the common goal of making youth and high school sports a positive, character-building experience for all student-athletes we make the Tampa Bay community a better place to live, work and play.

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