Stanley Cup Champion Cooke Joins TPH-Minnesota as Director & Head of Hockey
TPH, the world leader in positively impacting the lives of student-athletes through sport, is thrilled to announce Matt Cooke as Director & Head of Hockey for its Minnesota division. In his role, Cooke will oversee the entire Minnesota division, specifically its Study, Train, Play Center of Excellence model, where he will concentrate his efforts on maximizing the development of all individuals, as players, athletes, students, and people.
“Matt is a man of high character and passion, and he will bring a wealth of experience to our TPH-Minnesota student-athletes,” TPH CEO Nathan Bowen said. “Matt has lived the hockey journey and has experienced the game at all levels. He has been mentored by top coaches, has been around elite-level leaders, and knows what winning people, teams and organizations look like. While we believe we will benefit from Matt’s leadership, we know the real winners are going to be the student-athletes who Matt will positively impact each and every day.”
The Belleville, Ontario native will use a variety of vehicles to positively impact the lives of the student-athletes who are part of TPH-Minnesota’s inaugural class. Whether overseeing the application of TPH’s on and off-ice Hockey-Athlete Development Model, supporting the on-site academic staff, mentoring student-athletes, or formulating added value experiences like community service projects, field trips, and guest speakers, Cooke vows to provide an opportunity for all student-athletes to reach their potential in sport, school, and life, in a state he believes is thirsty for a model like the CoE.
“Minnesota is the ‘state of hockey,’ and while I believe the state does a great job as a whole of showcasing young hockey players, I know the CoE is going to provide an element that student-athletes need, families want and influential hockey leaders will appreciate,” Cooke said. “We are going to be 100% focused on the development of each individual athletically, academically, and socially. I am not that far removed from playing, so I understand the challenges that exist in chasing the dream of playing hockey at the highest levels. I plan to connect with each individual, create an atmosphere that enhances our kids’ desire to improve, and pass along knowledge I have gained from my years around the game.”
The “years around the game” Cooke mentions include 16 at the professional level. While winning a Stanley Cup in 2009 as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins ranks near the top of his professional resume, perhaps Cooke’s accomplishments off the ice are what aspiring elite student-athletes and their families will respect most. In 2003, while a member of the Vancouver Canucks, the 42-year-old received the Fred J. Hume Award, given to the team’s “unsung hero.” A few years later, in his second NHL stop with the Penguins, Cooke was tabbed the Edward J. DeBartolo Community Service Award Winner, and was Pittsburgh’s nominee for the prestigious Bill Masterton Trophy, an honor presented annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.
After hanging up his skates following the 2014-2015 season, Cooke immediately started giving back to the game, serving as a member of the Orono High School coaching staff and leading the Minnesota Revolution ‘AAA’ program. Husband to Michelle, and father to Gabriella, Reece, and Jackson, Cooke believes the opportunity to lead TPH-Minnesota and carry out its vision through the Center of Excellence model is the perfect next step on his hockey journey.
“As I was going through the Director interview process, not only did I reflect on the great coaches, teammates, and mentors I have had, I also thought about how much better prepared I could have been for hockey and life if I had an opportunity like the Center of Excellence available to me as a teenager,” Cooke added. “Having the chance to train at a high level, receive a completely individualized, customized NCAA-accredited education experience, be taught life skills, go through ‘the process with other driven individuals and still play for great club programs in Minnesota is an unbelievable avenue for hockey players from across the Twin Cities. I feel so fortunate to be in a position to help provide that opportunity and I can’t wait to prove that to student-athletes and families.”
Student-athletes and families interested in meeting Matt Cooke and learning more about TPH’s Study, Train, Play Center of Excellence model are invited to join us for our first Virtual Open House, scheduled for Thursday, May 20 at 8:00 PM CST. You can RSVP to the event by clicking here.
Interested families are also invited to apply to the Minnesota Center of Excellence, which is the first step in the registration process and guarantees your spot for the 2021-2022 school year. To apply to the CoE, click here.
Founded in 2001, TPH seeks to become the world leader in positively impacting the lives of student-athletes through sport. TPH platforms include association management, elite prospects programs, tournaments and showcases, camps and clinics, and its hallmark Center of Excellence academy model, serving over 10,000 student-athletes on an annual basis, throughout 15 U.S. based divisions. TPH prides itself on taking a holistic approach, one that emphasizes the development of the individual in four ways: (1) as a player within a team setting, (2) as an athlete, dedicated to reaching his/her physical potential, (3) as a student, working to achieve his/her academic goals, and most importantly, (4) as a person, striving to win the ultimate game, and that’s the game of life.