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Center of Excellence Detroit



Center of Excellence: Study, Train, Play!

The Total Package Hockey Center of Excellence is a focused environment where dedicated student-athletes study, train and play to their fullest potential.  Our environment combines proven, accredited online learning with hands-on, innovative on and off-ice training and instruction.  With a focus on choices, character and culture, we believe in a holistic approach, and recognize that our greatest responsibility is to prepare our student-athletes for success in the ultimate game: the game of life.


Continue scrolling to:

  • Apply to the Center of Excellence.  
  • Learn about the various components of the Center of Excellence, including academics, on and off-ice training, leadership and personal development.  
  • Meet the hockey, academic and operations staff for the COE.


Applying to the Center of Excellence 

Click here to apply to the Center of Excellence, which is step one in the formal registration process.  Once your application is accepted, you will receive an e-mail with further instructions.  


Study to Your Potential

... Academics at the COE ...


CoE Academics Overview

Well-rounded, resilient, self-starting… This is the type of student our academic culture looks to produce.  This process occurs in a selective learning environment, whereby student-athletes interact with other driven, likeminded individuals who seek the flexibility of balancing academics with hockey, 


In addition to offering flexibility, the CoE learning environment provides:


  • Disciplined, Daily Structure...  Students maintain a disciplined, daily structure at the CoE.  While actual schedules vary by location, a typical CoE day strikes an appropriate balance between studying, training and playing...  Like a traditional classroom, all CoE’s implement policies to ensure students are accountable and perform academically.  
  • Individualized and Customized Learning Plans...  While the CoE prides itself on allowing each family to choose a learning provider that meets the needs of their student-athlete, TPH is proud to offer a customized learning platform, built specifically for the CoE, through Edmentum, the official learning partner of Total Package Hockey.  Edmentum's courseware is rigorous, robust and most importantly, NCAA accredited.  Within the confines of Edmentum's curriculum, our academic team prides itself on our ability to craft individual education plans for each-student athlete.  
  • Applicable and Far-Reaching Experiences...  Skills such as the ability to time manage and learn in different settings are taught at the CoE, all in an effort to prepare our student-athletes for an independent lifestyle.  Real-world experiences such as field trips, community service projects, guest speakers and TPH’s weekly Life Skills & Leadership Seminars take learning beyond the classroom.  Mentoring future leaders who understand what it means to do the right thing on and off the ice is central to positively impacting the lives of our student-athletes.    


Edmentum proudly partners with over 8,000 schools in the US.

The Edmentum Platform

... Creating a Truly Customized Learning Environment for the CoE ...


Edmentum is the official learning partner of Total Package Hockey and offers a completely customized platform for CoE students, whereby individuals study online, via teacher-delivered live lessons, mostly within a cohort of TPH students. This format universalizes learning across all CoE's, and creates a bond within our truly selective learning environment. 


Simply put, students taking an Edmentum course in a particular subject area at one CoE, are taught by the same teacher in that subject area at other CoE's, and interact with CoE students outside of their specific location.        


TPH provides on-site Success Coaches, who monitor academic performance, while providing knowledge of specific content areas as well as the Edmentum courseware.  Students have access to a full-time bank of teachers, hired specifically for the CoE, who maintain "virtual office hours" to ensure accessibility. 


Edmentum provides a large variety of NCAA accredited courses for students to choose from, with courses meeting state academic standards.


And on top of this, in most cases, Edmentum will partner with a local area public school, to provide its student-athletes some of the benefits of traditional brick and mortar students, such as:


  • Participation on school athletic teams.  
  • Invitations to after-school activities.
  • Diploma from the actual brick and mortar school upon graduating.    

To learn more about the Edmentum platform, click on the video below.


Train and Play to Your Potential

... Hockey at the COE ...


The Hockey Player... The Hockey Athlete!

To be successful in today’s game, we believe a hockey player must possess three qualities:


  1. High compete level, which is the foundation for success in hockey and life.
  2. High level of hockey sense.
  3. High caliber overall skill set, in the form of skating, shooting and stick skills. 

At the same time, improve a player’s strength, speed and overall athleticism, and now you have an elite hockey athlete, which is the goal when training and playing at the CoE.  


Training and Playing at the CoE: The Process

Athletes spend a minimum of two hours per day, four days per week, training both on and off the ice, within TPH’s framework for The Hockey Athlete.


On the ice, emphasis is placed on quality repetitions, performed:


  • In-part, as well as combined as a whole.
  • Individually, as well as within a group. 
  • In no pressure, light pressure and full pressure situations.

Quality repetitions remain the focus off the ice, as athletes train to develop:


  • The strength of a football player and the explosive quickness of a track runner. 
  • The balance, stability, agility and range of motion that comprises overall athleticism. 
  • Durability to avoid injury and withstand the demands of a long season. 
  • Endurance necessary to compete for the long haul.  

Daily training themes, positive, hands-on coaching, innovative training methods and video analysis are utilized to accelerate the development process of The Hockey Athlete, and prepare each individual for advancement to the highest levels of junior, collegiate and professional hockey.      

Center of Excellence Staff


Dwayne Norris

Director of Hockey

TPH Center of Excellence, Detroit

(248) 884-0419


  • 1992 graduate of Michigan State University, where he played four seasons for the Green and White.  
  • Played 16 years of professional hockey in both the United States and Europe.
  • Selected by the Quebec Nordiques in the 7th round of the 1990 NHL draft.
  • Played 20 games in the NHL with both Quebec and Anaheim.  
  • Spent three seasons as General Manager of the Frankfurt Lions in the DEL following his retirement as a player in 2007.  
  • Currently serves as the Director of Hockey for the Oakland Junior Grizzlies program.   Also coaches 'AAA' hockey for the Grizzlies. 
  • Married to wife Traci and has three sons- Coale, a sophomore at Ferris State, Josh, a sophomore at Michigan, who was also selected by San Jose in the first round of the 2017 NHL draft, and Dalton, a U18 'AAA' player who attends the Center of Excellence.  

Rick Gadwa
Director of Operations

TPH Center of Excellence, Detroit

(810) 923-5393, cell


  • Graduated from Hartland High School, where he currently coaches the Varsity boys hockey team.  
  • Graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Management from Davenport University in Grand Rapids, MI.  
  • Played semi-professional hockey for the Battle Creek Revolution in the AAHL.  
  • Father of three and resides in Brighton, MI.  

Jimmy McGroarty
Player Development Coach & Mentor

TPH Center of Excellence, Detroit

(402) 802-1216, cell


  • Native of Toronto, Ontario.  
  • Extensive playing career at the junior and professional level in the United States, Canada and Austria.  
  • Spent 13 years coaching in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers and Lincoln Stars as an assistant, associate and head coach.  
  • Amassed over 450 wins as a USHL coach.    
  • Coached over 200 future Division I players and had over 50 players selected in the NHL draft, or sign NHL contracts as free agents.  Ryan Dzingel, Paul Stastny, Brandon Bollig, Martin Hanzel and Matt Bartkowski were among them.
  • Currently coaches with the Honeybaked program and is a scout for the Hamilton Bulldogs in the OHL.  
  • He and his wife Cindy are the proud parents of daughter Molly and son Rutger.  

Matt Larke
Player Development Coach & Mentor 

TPH Center of Excellence, Detroit

(248) 727-3617, cell


  • Michigan native who played his minor hockey in the Honeybaked program.  
  • Played junior hockey in both the NAHL and USHL from 2005-2008.  
  • Played 8 seasons of professional hockey in the ECHL, CHL and EIHL in Europe.  
  • Coaches in the TPH Michigan Hockey Advancement program, as well as the OHL Cup, and also assists the Honeybaked 2004's.
  • Specializes in skating stride, edge work and mechanics.  

Dan Riedel

Player Development Coach & Mentor

TPH Center of Excellence, Detroit

(248) 935-8805, cell


  • Played three seasons in the NAHL and USHL with the Springfield Jr. Blues and the Lincoln Stars.  
  • Played two seasons of collegiate hockey at Ferris State University before embarking on five year professional playing career that included stops in the 'AA' pro CHL, IHL and ECHL.  
  • Has served as a regional scout for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL and the Ottawa 67's of the OHL.  Is presently working in the same capacity for the OHL's Windsor Spitfires.  
  • Currently coaches the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U16 'AAA' team.  
  • Native of Rochester Hills, MI.  Resides in the Detroit area with his wife Sadie and two children. 

Josh Blackburn

Goaltending Coach

TPH Center of Excellence, Detroit


  • Graduated from the University of Michigan in 2002 after a four seasons with the Maize and Blue.  
  • Enjoyed a three year professional playing career in the ECHL and CHL.  
  • Was named USHL Goaltender of the Year in 1998 with the Dubuque Fighting Saints.  
  • Spent 7 seasons as the Goaltending Coach at the University of Michigan.  


Sarah Bullington
Director of Education

TPH Center of Excellence, Detroit

(313) 478-6219, cell


  • Graduated with Bachelor's Degrees in Education and Chemistry from Central Michigan University. 
  • Earned a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Madonna University. 
  • Coordinator of online learning programs for at-risk students with the Redford School District for eight years. 

Gabby Schnepp

Success Coach

TPH Center of Excellence, Detroit


  • Graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Utica College.  
  • Played four year of Women's ice hockey while attending Utica College.  
  • Spent the 17-18 school year as a Success Coach for the TPH-Detroit Center of Excellence in Hazel Park.


Center of Excellence Location

The Detroit Center of Excellence is located at:

Detroit Skating Club
888 Denison Court
Bloomfield Hills, MI  48302


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