TPH is proud to announce that the Minnesota Center of Excellence – an academy for aspiring elite student-athletes, featuring TPH’s “Study, Train, Play” model – is expanding by adding a second location in Blaine for the 2022-23 school year in partnership with the National Sports Center.
The world’s largest amateur sports facility, the NSC offers eight ice arenas, the largest dome in North America for winter training, and elite facilities for a variety of amateur sports. With its new location in Blaine, pairing the sports facilities of the NSC and a separate multi-purpose facility that will house baseball, softball, fitness, and academic space, TPH will be able to offer its unique blended learning model to athletes of all major sports.
“TPH is incredibly excited to be working with the National Sports Center for our Minnesota student-athletes,” said Alan Keeso, Chief Executive Officer of TPH. “Young athletes in Minnesota will be able to grow athletically, academically and personally thanks to our Center of Excellence model, regardless of which sport they are pursuing.”
Last season, TPH began its Minnesota operations at the Plymouth Ice Center, introducing its blended learning model and sport-specific training to the Land of 10,000 Lakes for the first time. Coursework and teacher interaction takes place virtually, paired with TPH’s on-site academic team present to individualize and customize the learning experience based on when, where, and how each student-athlete learns best.
“We are thrilled to be moving into the National Sports Center and Blaine Super Rink for the upcoming school year,” said Matt Cooke, director and head of hockey for TPH Minnesota. “The academy model and lifestyle that TPH creates for our student-athletes allows them to thrive both as athletes and as people, and with the training grounds at the NSC, they will have everything they need to succeed and thrive with their association and high school teams.
“We look forward to welcoming athletes of various sports to our academy to create a unique environment of like-minded athletes bonding socially and academically while continuing to hone their craft in their respective field of play.”
The Minnesota Icemen will be bringing their national championship-producing baseball experience to the newest TPH Minnesota location, as they are partnering to provide new opportunities for their talented baseball players. The Icemen, fresh off winning the 17U PBR National Championship in 2021, are co-opening the new facility with TPH, “In our meetings with TPH, we were impressed with their organization and their mission to offer the very best for student-athletes across the country,” said Ryan Sutterer, director of player personnel/player development and co-owner of the Icemen. “When baseball season starts, the players don’t get much time for individual training – we’re excited to be able to offer a new opportunity to improve their skills year-round while helping them thrive on the ball diamond and in the classroom.”
The Minnesota Advancement Program (MAP) will continue to lead the CoE’s hockey training component, after a successful first year of their partnership. “With our TPH partnership, we provide Minnesota-based hockey players with a proven academic experience to go on top of the hockey training and instruction we provide,” said founder Justin Johnson. “The demand for flexibility and customization in both training and learning is on the rise, and TPH’s CoE model provides just that.”
The National Sports Center is a 600-acre multi-sport complex that includes a soccer stadium, a golf course, a convention facility, and the famed ‘Super Rink’ of eight sheets of ice.“We see a great opportunity to continue to provide quality physical, mental and social development experiences for the families located in Blaine and surrounding suburbs through this program,” said Darin Thompson, senior director of sport services for the National Sports Center.
Learn more about our new Blaine location by registering for the upcoming National Virtual Open House. See you there!
Founded in 2001, Total Package Hockey’s (TPH) purpose is to lead the world in the holistic development of student-athletes, advancing – in and beyond the game – the next generation of impact players. TPH prides itself on operating at a standard that exceeds expectations of student-athletes, families, coaches, teachers, advisors and all other entities within both athletic and academic circles. With platforms that include association management, elite prospects programs, tournaments and showcases, camps and clinics and its hallmark Center of Excellence academy model, TPH services over 10,000 student-athletes on an annual basis, throughout 16 U.S. based divisions.
The Belleville, Ontario native brings over 16 years of experience at the professional level. Cooke won the 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 has 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.
Before TPH, Liz worked as an Assistant Learning Specialist in the Lindahl Academic Center at the University of Minnesota supporting academic skill building for student-athletes. She also served as a Lead Instructor and Teaching Assistant at the University of Iowa for over six years. She taught courses in cultural anthropology, linguistics, international studies, and archaeology.
Liz has a bachelor’s degree in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Anthropology with a minor in Public Health from Washington University in St. Louis. She has an MA and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Iowa.