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Cooke Breaks Down Why Student-Athletes Should Train at Minnesota CoE

Many Minnesotans skate before they walk. Whether it’s the hometown rink, the rink at home, built by dad, or a rink at the local park down the street, Minnesotans are somewhere skating. It is no shock to why Minnesota has been nicknamed the Holy Grail of High School Hockey and the even better known, The State of Hockey. From the “mini mites” to the pros, hockey is one of the most popular sports in the state. For that reason, there was no hesitation when TPH chose to open a Center of Excellence (CoE) academy model in the state, with its campus at the Plymouth Ice Center in Plymouth, MN.


The new CoE location will be led by Mathew Cooke,  Director of Hockey-Operations, for the inaugural 2021-22 school year. Cooke brings valuable experience ranging from the juniors to the National Hockey League (NHL).


Cooke offers three reasons why the CoE model will help dedicated student-athletes reach their full potential.  


“One, the holistic approach and being able to receive a high-level of education, while building your development through the sport of hockey, because one shouldn’t sacrifice for the other. Two, the experiences at TPH and the coaching staff that will be involved. I think the development that will happen in our 36-week program is far superior than what you would receive through a traditional hockey setting. Three, the opportunity to be with kids that are chasing the same dream and challenging you to continue to get better.”


Student-athletes will do just that by being provided high-level training and individualized, customized, NCAA-accredited, blended learning experiences to those that attend the CoE academy. TPH Minnesota will provide its national academic partner, Edmentum, based out of Bloomington, and its state-wide academic partner, Minnesota Virtual School (MVS), which is located in St. Paul.  In partnership with both Edmentum and MVS, TPH will deliver an online curriculum and online learning with on-site infrastructure and academic support. Coursework can be completed on-demand, with 24/7, fully accessible NCAA courseware, and full-time instructors.  


“We are very excited to announce our newest Center of Excellence in Minnesota. This is the same state where our academic partner, Edmentum is headquartered.  With the new center’s proximity to Edmentum headquarters, we will be able to leverage even greater resources to blend the instructional experience for our student-athletes.  Our TPH-EdOptions Academy program continues to provide a best-in-class academic program for student-athletes who aspire to study, train, and play at an elite level. As we launch our new CoE in Minnesota, we look forward to the unique ability to collaborate on-site with Edmentum team members as we develop even more innovative learning opportunities for our student-athletes,” TPH Chief Academic Officer Bill Simms said.


The campus as well will incorporate TPH’s nationwide Center of Excellence mentorship program where students are taught on-site life skills, leadership coaching, and how to create the opportunity to become an elite human through real-life experiences.


“Mentoring kids is very individual to each student-athlete. I want to be available and a resource to every kid that attends the CoE. If that means helping player X with confidence, or player Y with how to be a good human, how the whole group can be ingrained in the community, and how to give back is super important to me,” stated Cooke.


Minnesota has produced some of the best hockey players in the history of the game, has had some of the best college and high school programs for as long as they have existed, and TPH Minnesota is thrilled to be a part of that equation in helping further advance the sport of hockey in the state.


To learn more about our Minnesota TPH CoE, click here.

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