Dan Wheeler, beloved and long time coach at GSC, died of heart failure while skiing at Gunstock on March 15, 2017. When asked about Dan, fellow coaches immediately comment on how much he loved to ski, teach skiing, and how the kids are drawn in by his enthusiasm.
After his passing current and past club members created a scholarship fund and a U10 event to honor Dan’s memory. The Dan Wheeler scholarship fund initially received money given at Dan's service and additional money is being added using proceeds from the Candyman Cup event.
The Candyman Cup is a U10 GS and Stubby SL race (one run each).
In many ways Dan Wheeler represents the heart and soul of the Gunstock Ski Club. Dan was first as a parent, and then a coach.
When you ask fellow coaches what they remember about Dan, they immediately comment on how his love for racing and skiing was unmatched.
He acted like a little kid when discussion turned to skiing; he anticipated the first snowfall starting in August; he shared the stats from his ski tracking app; he eagerly looked forward to the annual Jay Peak trip; and he was excited about the benefits of Skills Quest.
Dan got to know each one of the athletes he coach, and he religiously followed them as they moved through the ranks. Dan had a way of getting the best out of each kid. Sometimes this involved a bribe with candy, but it was his calm demeanor, quick wit, and ability to connect with kids that made him a beloved coach. His energy was contagious and it continues to this day with the kids, families and staff at GSC.
Dan (and Irene) are remembered for their hard work and dedication to the Gunstock Ski Club. They have impacted many of us, directly and indirectly, and the club is a better place today because of their dedication and service.
This event represents the spirit Dan had for skiing and skills development. He would've loved to see this day!
Good luck to everyone and have FUN!
Each year the U10 coaching staff selects two 2nd year U10 athletes to receive the “Dan Wheeler Award”. The award is to be presented at the annual Blue & Green Day to U10 athletes that share the same enthusiasm for skiing and learning the art of skiing as Dan.
The athletes are recognized with names engraved on a perpetual trophy that hangs in the GSC clubhouse, and receive money intended to cover costs of race entry fees the following year.