Terry Vinyard - Coach/Referee - 2003
Position: Head Coach
Home: Brisbane, Australia
Hall of Fame Induction: 2003 (1st Coach inducted)
Teams: Tampa Generals 1989-1997 - Suncoast Storm (Tampa 2) 1993, 1994, 1999 - Tampa Generals 1999 - 2001.
Terry was the original Tampa Generals Coach, coaching them 11 years total. Under his guidance, the team qualified for the National tournament every year that he coached. He coached three National Championship teams, becoming the first team to win back to back titles in 1992 and 1993. This era featured a 93 game winning streak, which was snapped in the 1994 USQRA Title game. His Generals also made 41 straight Championship game appearances. The Generals extensive schedule enabled them to record several 40-win seasons.
During his tenure he often coached two Tampa squads out of the same gym. His second team entered the League three different seasons. In 1994 both teams made the final four of the USQRA Nationals.
Vinyard Coached the U.S. to Gold medal at the 1993 World Wheelchair Games, 1995 World Championships, and the 1996 Paralympic Games. In three years of coaching the U.S. National Team he compiled a perfect 23-0 record.
He was instrumental in establishing a relationship with PVA to implement Rugby into the annual Paralyzed Veterans of America games. His relationship with PVA enabled the USQRA to hold instructional clinics throughout the U.S. that spawned several new players and teams. During the mid to late 90's, Terry worked globally to develop Rugby through clinics and camps. He eventually went on to coach internationally, coaching Belgium, Austria, and Australia. He is the only Paralympian to represent the home team twice, USA in 1996, and Australia in 2000. While Coaching Australia, he led them to an improbable final game match-up with his former Team USA. A record Crowd of 10,000 people watched his Australian team come within 1 goal of upsetting the US.
Vinyard won at every level, including low points tournaments where his Tampa low pointers went to the final game in every tournament they played, including wins in Canada (Défi Sportif) and Germany (Munich Low Pointers).
Vinyard was known as an innovator, inventor, organizer and strategist. His contributions to Rugby Coaching manuals were unparrelled. In 1992, he founded Tampa's International Tournament that would soon be the largest tournament in Rugby, hosting as many as 16 teams from several countries. He was also tournament director for two USQRA National Tournaments, hosting in 1991 and 1993. He also served five years as a vice President in the USQRA, and a 4-year term as Development President for the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation.
Vinyard consistently proved he was more than just Coach, as he raised monies for his team, and the League. He even became Internationally Certified as a Referee, officiating over 250 games in his career. He coached in another 600, and now serves as Commissioner of the Australian Wheelchair Rugby League while continuing to Coach the Australian National team.