An accomplished entrepreneur whose vision for media broadcasting, has helped place the IHSAA at the forefront of state high school associations across the country, Rick Vanderwielen will be honored with this year’s Distinguished Media Service Award for District 2.
Vanderwielen’s contributions to education‐based athletics will be recognized Saturday, March 25, at the IHSAA Boys Basketball State Finals. Commissioner Bobby Cox and Sports Information Director Jason Wille will make the presentation.
The Noblesville resident’s dedication to broadcasting high school sports and his service in a consulting capacity have resulted in the creation of IHSAAtv.org and the IHSAA Champions Network. From 2005 to 2013, Vanderwielen’s companies produced the IHSAA baseball, softball and volleyball state finals for Fox, Comcast, IHSAAsports.org and eventually Hamilton County’s HomeTown Sports Indiana.
Since his retirement in 2013, Rick has volunteered his time and expertise supporting the broadcasting efforts of the state finals as well as creating IHSAAtv.org as a portal for IHSAA games of the week and sub‐state tournaments in basketball and football.
“Rick has been instrumental in the planning, development and ultimately the creation of the IHSAA Champions Network,” said Assistant Commissioner Chris Kaufman. “His innovative, forward‐thinking style has helped the IHSAA to become a leader in high school video broadcasting throughout the country. There is no question his contributions have had a dramatic, positive impact on the IHSAA in establishing a broadcasting framework that will continue to serve our member schools into the future.”
His entrepreneurial spirit has resulted in being named as One of the 100 Most Influential Businessmen in Indiana by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce in 1997. In 2003, he was designated as Person of the Year by the Noblesville Daily Times and Riverview Hospital. And in 2004, he was named the Businessperson of the Year by the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce. His companies also have been recognized as Growth 100 achievers by the IU Kelley School of Business and earned the Mass Mutual Blue Chip Award.
He is the founder of Indiana Automation, Inc. (later Integrator.com), Flexware Integration, Security Automation Systems, HomeTown Television and a partner in Webstream Sports. He has been a principal in four other businesses.
He has served on advisory boards at Purdue University, the Hamilton County Judicial Task Force, and the Riverview Hospital Board of Directors. He and his family are trustees of the “Vanderwielen Family Foundation” and “1 More Game” which have contributed scholarships to deserving organizations and individuals for 20 years.
Vanderwielen is a 1974 graduate of Lafayette Jefferson High School where he met his high school sweetheart, Nancy. The couple have been married for 40 years and have two children and six grandchildren. In high school, Vanderwielen was a three‐year letterman in both track and basketball and was a member of the Bronchos basketball team that advanced to the IHSAA State Finals in 1974. He went on to earn his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Purdue University in 1978 and was later honored as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2005 by the University. He was also elected to the Jeff Hall of Fame in 2005.
This is the 32nd year the IHSAA has recognized outstanding members of the Indiana news media from each of its three legislative districts for excellence in the coverage of high school sports. District 2 covers 28 counties across northern and central Indiana. Vanderwielen is the third of three individuals to be honored this school year joining Chip Jones of WLOI/WCOE in LaPorte and Rick Semmler of WTHI‐TV in Terre Haute, both of whom were recognized earlier this winter.