Blues Draft Pick, Philip McRae becomes owner of TPH St. Louis
TPH St. Louis is proud to announce that former St. Louis Blue, Philip McRae, has become an owner of TPH St. Louis and the St. Louis Center of Excellence (CoE). Philip first joined the TPH team in May of 2019, when he was named the Director and Head of Hockey for TPH St. Louis. After a 10 year professional career, Philip has developed a newfound passion for helping student-athletes maximize their potential, on and off the ice.
Philip’s career has come full circle through the St. Louis hockey community, from his humble beginnings through his professional debut. He discovered his love for the game when he began playing for the Chesterfield Falcons. After leading the Falcons to a Central States League Championship, Philip went on to win a National Championship with the St. Louis AAA Blues. At the age of 15, Philip left home to compete as an underage player for the USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, before signing with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League at 16. Furthermore, Philip won two medals with the USA National Team, a bronze at the U-18 World Championships and a gold at the U-20 World Juniors.
Philip’s childhood dreams came true in 2008, when he was selected 33rd overall by his hometown St. Louis Blues in the NHL draft. He would go on to have a lengthy professional career, competing in the NHL, AHL, and several international leagues, before returning to the Gateway City to join the TPH team.
After retiring from professional hockey, it didn’t take long for Philip to find himself back in the St. Louis hockey community. “I was extremely excited and grateful when TPH took a chance on me and hired me as the Director and Head of Hockey almost two years ago. I am just as excited now to be a partner and owner of TPH St. Louis” said Philip. “When I retired from playing hockey after 10 years pro, I was unsure of my future, but I have been lucky and fortunate to find what I believe is my calling in mentoring young student-athletes. I am excited to continue to run TPH St. Louis to the best of my ability, grow the program, and have a positive impact on as many young athletes as possible”. Philip also mentioned “The St. Louis Blues alumni do an amazing job of giving back to the local hockey community, so as a young player growing up in the St. Louis area, they really ingrained in me that responsibility and that’s something I now get to do each day”.
“We are extremely fortunate to have a positive role model that has played for local St. Louis programs,” stated Alan Keeso, CEO of Total Package Hockey. “Philip was in the same position as many of our Center of Excellence student-athletes, and has played at every level that they aspire to one day play at. Philip demonstrates the “TPH Way” through his actions and mentorship every single day, and his commitment to helping young student-athletes maximize their potential is incredible. We are thrilled to have Philip join our ownership group and we know that he will continue to drive-up the standard in St. Louis as a partner.”
Philip joins the TPH leadership team and ownership group amongst an incredible roster of hockey veterans. With a dedicated staff from around the country, TPH is focused on making student-athletes the best versions of themselves on and off the ice.
About Total Package Hockey
Founded in 2001, it is Total Package Hockey’s (TPH) vision to become the world leader in positively impacting the lives of student-athletes through sport. 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 15 U.S. based divisions.
Celebration, selflessness, and reflection – three keywords that mean something different to everyone, but are united through youth athletics and the giving spirit that the holiday season brings. No matter the victories or the defeats you experienced in 2021, we shall turn our hearts and focus to surrounding communities that need help. From coast-to-coast, that is exactly what the TPH Center of Excellence student-athletes have been dedicated to accomplishing off the ice; being a helping hand and making a positive impact within their communities this holiday season.
In St. Louis, the student-athletes and their families teamed up with Angel Arms, a non-profit organization, to adopt a family of seven children with a single mother who is currently battling cancer. With this act of kindness, the TPH Center of Excellence in St. Louis was able to provide clothing, gift cards, and raise nearly $2,000; fulfilling the family’s wish list for the holidays. The hand-written letters from the student-athletes brought joy to the family, as well, during this difficult time.
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The Indiana team took action this December by participating in the WRTV6 Toy Drive. With help from the Red Cross, student-athletes collected and filled a van full of new toys that were gifted to families around the Indianapolis area who needed some holiday cheer. Once the last toy was successfully delivered, the TPH Center of Excellence Director in Indiana, Judi Kremer, recapped the exciting experience by mentioning “What a wonderful experience to see the compassion and energy that the student-athletes brought to the toy drive and getting the information out to collect from family, friends, neighbors, and teammates. The community supported our student-athlete’s efforts and everyone showed what the spirit of giving was truly about”.
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In the south, TPH Center of Excellence student-athletes in Nashville wrote and decorated uplifting holiday letters that brought happiness and a smile to the residents of the Morning Pointe Senior Living facility in Franklin, Tennessee. In the spirit of giving, the Nashville team also collected 1,631 pounds of food and delivered it to the Second Harvest Food Bank. “Our original goal was to collect 500 pounds and our students and their families stepped up in a big way,” said Jen Cubides, Head of Academics.
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Out west, the Phoenix team provided nearly $1,000 in hygiene products for women who recently became homeless. Turning the giving up a notch in December, the student-athletes also adopted a family in need; making Christmas a little happier this year.
These selfless efforts made by TPH Center of Excellence student-athletes and their families go far beyond bringing happiness to others, but rather unite teams, families, and communities. No matter if it’s in the classroom, on the ice, or in the community, each TPH Center of Excellence location has an environment built for growth with a holistic approach of preparing student-athletes for success in the ultimate game, the game of life.
Take a moment to reflect on what worked well for you this year in your hockey journey and where you aspire to be this time next year on and off the ice.
If you’re looking to find a better way to academic and athletic excellence, a great first step would be registering for the upcoming National Virtual Open House on Monday, January 10th. You could also get involved in the TK Scholarship Fund to help aspiring student-athletes.
Let’s study, train, and play more in 2022!
(Nashville, TN – December 15, 2021) – TPH is excited to announce Alan Keeso as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2022. Having served as Strategic Advisor to TPH over the past 5 years, Keeso brings in-depth knowledge of TPH and its Center of Excellence (CoE) academy model, its team members, and culture.
“We’re so excited to have Al lead our team going into our next 20 years at TPH,” said TPH founder Nathan Bowen, who will move out of the CEO role and into the Chairman role, remaining heavily active in TPH. “Having celebrated TPH turning 20 years old this year, we are absolutely pumped about what’s to come as we strive to lead the world in positively impacting the lives of student-athletes. Al is the leader to help us scale that impact.”
In addition to consulting for TPH in recent years, Keeso has helped dozens of small and medium-sized businesses grow for over a decade as a management consultant, independently, as well as through Grant Thornton and BDC. When asked early in 2021 by Bowen and his Investing Partner Taso Sofikitis to work more closely with TPH, Keeso decided to make the move with his family to Nashville.
“TPH to its core is a purpose-driven organization, with an outstanding team of committed professionals,” said Keeso. “It’s an honor to have this kind of confidence from Nathan and Taso to take TPH to new heights, and the responsibility that comes with the CEO role to the TPH team and our student-athletes is something I take very seriously. We’re a team that’s poised for growth through our Center of Excellence Study/Train/Play academy model, association management, camps and clinics, The Prospect Exchange, prospects teams, and events, now featuring Champions League Hockey in partnership with World Hockey Group. All of these efforts and their growth will enable us to positively impact the lives of a greater number of student-athletes, not only at our current locations, but also at many new locations to come. The future is bright at TPH.”
Keeso’s own journey as a student-athlete, and ensuing career, lend perspective to what Bowen believes will continue to differentiate TPH to prospective partners as well as families weighing the incredibly important decision on where to have their children develop as students, athletes, and people.
“Al has not only been an aspiring elite student-athlete, who reached levels in hockey that many TPH student-athletes are working towards daily, but he also exemplifies to our families what the bigger picture can be when lessons learned from sports are applied beyond the game,” said Bowen. “That’s what TPH is all about, and that’s what we feel differentiates us; we prepare our student-athletes not only for the next level in their sport, but also mentor them on habits that will help them experience wild success on the ultimate journey – life. With Al’s leadership, that differentiator will only get stronger. He has lived the ups and downs the game can throw at you and is an incredible role model for young aspiring student-athletes, because he never quit and he has used those tough times as motivation and lessons learned to prepare for the next challenge in life and hit it head on in pursuit of the next success.”
In addition to a successful business career, Keeso has earned two master’s degrees – an MBA and an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management – from the University of Oxford. At Oxford, he also published a working paper, took to the TEDx stage, and was goaltender for the university’s historic ice hockey team, becoming the only men’s player in the club’s history to have earned an Extraordinary Full Blue, the highest honor in sports at Oxford. Keeso also served as an infantry officer in the armed forces reserves and ran in a federal election.
A native of Listowel, Ontario, Keeso played hockey in his hometown before joining the Huron-Perth Lakers AAA organization and continuing on to Jr hockey with the Listowel Cyclones, Strathroy Rockets, and Sarnia Blast of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOHL). He then went to Boston to study at Wentworth Institute of Technology, where he was a goaltender for the varsity NCAA Division III hockey team and graduated with a BSc in Technology Management with honors.
“Having grown up in the game of hockey, I understand the opportunities for growth that youth sports provide for young people, on and off the ice, field, and court,” said Keeso. “Team members at TPH are deeply committed to the holistic development of student-athletes, knowing that the skills and habits learned extend well beyond the game to many other arenas of life. As a result of Nathan’s leadership and an all-star team of people, we have a great foundation in place as we head into ‘The Next 20’ at TPH.”
If you are interested in learning more about our #StudyTrainPlay model at the TPH Center of Excellence, Alan and other key members of our team will be participating in a Nationwide Virtual Open House on January 10th at 8:00 PM EST. Register for free here!
TPH St. Louis, the world leader in positively impacting the lives of student-athletes through sport, is thrilled to announce that Sam Canfield, born and raised in St. Louis with deep ties to the community, was recently hired as the full-time Coordinator of Operations and Programming for the TPH Center of Excellence (CoE) in St. Louis. Canfield brings an abundance of expertise and background in all areas including mentoring, coaching, playing, administration, and operations. In addition to assisting with the day-to-day operations of the St. Louis CoE, Sam will be heavily involved in hockey development as well as helping provide the greatest possible experience, in all areas, for our St. Louis families.
The St. Louis CoE is extremely excited to welcome Sam to the team for a few reasons. Number one: Sam’s ability to connect with and mentor young student-athletes on and off the ice. Number two: Sam’s knowledge and experience when it comes to developing young hockey players. And number three: Sam believes in TPH St. Louis and the CoE hybrid-learning and sports training model. He is truly invested in doing whatever it takes to positively impact the lives of each and every one of our students; helping them reach their full potential academically and athletically.
“Most importantly, Sam has a strong passion for making a positive impact on young student-athletes and helping them succeed on and off the ice. Sam is going to be a great addition to the team and myself and the entire CoE St. Louis staff and students are looking forward to working with Sam!” mentioned Philip McRae, Director and Head of Hockey.
Sam comes from Synergy Hockey as Lead Skills Coach with 10 years of overall experience with 6 years experience as an Assistant Coach with AAA Blues. Furthermore, Sam has been lucky to coach with and learn from Jeff Brown, Andy Mcdonald, Alex Brooks, Jamie Rivers and Mike Berra.
Learn more about our St. Louis TPH CoE location 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 annually throughout 16 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 their physical potential, (3) as a student, working to achieve their academic goals, and most importantly, (4) as a person, striving to win the ultimate game, and that’s the game of life.
(ST. LOUIS) – TPH and its Center of Excellence (CoE) in St. Louis are thrilled to add two more staff members to its family. Molly Porfidio has joined the team as an Academic Success Coach, and Ryan Hurston has been added as the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach.
“For the development and growth of our student-athletes, Molly and Ryan will add an extra layer of accountability and instruction that will allow our students to take ownership for their development and be the best they can be,” said Philip McRae, Director of Hockey-Operation at TPH St. Louis.
Molly earned her Bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University where she double-majored in Secondary Education and English. In addition to being a licensed teacher in Missouri, Molly is also currently pursuing a Master’s degree in higher education from Lindenwood University. In her previous role, Molly worked for Lindenwood Athletics within the Academic Success Center, helping to mentor and monitor the academic progress of their student-athletes.
Ryan Hurston joins Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Bret Kelly in TPH St. Louis’ off-ice training of its students. Ryan will be assisting Bret and TPH’s student-athletes in the gym a minimum of twice a week. Ryan attended DePauw University and earned a degree in Kinesiology. He’s also on staff at Mercy Sports Performance in Maryland Heights.
“It’s going to be more hands-on training and instruction for individual student-athletes, which will only help them improve their off-ice training that much more,” said McRae on the addition of Hurston. “We’re excited to add Ryan to the off-ice training staff.”
Success in year one
In its first full year, TPH St. Louis saw tremendous success with its student-athletes.
“We had 37 students in this year, and it’s worked out really well with small groups of on and off-ice training,” said McRae. “The kids have been working hard and having fun with the training, but more importantly, it’s been great to see the kids putting in the same effort in the classroom academically. They finished strong in the first semester with academics, and that’s the most important thing. It’s been awesome to see the students grow and develop as hockey players, students and as people in general.”
It hasn’t been easy for anyone in education to work through a pandemic, but the staff and students in St. Louis have found a way to be successful and to overtake any obstacle thrown their way.
“We’ve taken it day-by-day just like the rest of the world,” said McRae. “We’ve had to go through some challenging times and adversity, but the staff and students have found a way to get the training and schoolwork that the kids need during this difficult time for everyone. We’re looking to keep battling through this to get the kids really what they need, while at the same time being safe and following all the guidelines that we need to.”
As the school has grown with its student-athletes, the goal in St. Louis is to always put the kids first and add the necessary staff members to support them. With the addition of more staff members, the student to staff ratio will continue to be at a level where each and every child at TPH St. Louis receives one-on-one attention to help them reach their goals as an athlete.
Interested in learning more about the TPH Center of Excellence St. Louis? TPH St. Louis will be hosting an on-site open house February 8th. Attendees must register to attend but the open house is FREE. Click here to reserve you seat.
Learn more about the Center of Excellence in St. Louis.
Get to know our student of the month, Jacob Langhammer, from the TPH Center of Excellence. Jacob currently plays for the St. Peters Hockey Club, and has really enjoyed the electives he’s able to take while at the COE. Learn more about Jacob and his experience in St. Louis in his interview with Justin.
(ST. LOUIS, MO – November 19, 2020) – Total Package Hockey (TPH) and St. Louis Director of Hockey and Operations Philip McRae have announced the addition of Stephen Bopp as a Player Development Coach & Mentor. Bopp is currently the head coach of the 2009 Carshield AAA Team, as well as the assistant coach of the St. Louis Rockets Elite U16 AA team.
Bopp grew up playing hockey in St. Louis and has been a member of the Kirkwood Stars, Affton Americans Central States and AAA Blues. Bopp went on to play junior hockey for the St. Louis Bandits of the North American Hockey League for two years and finished his career at Lindenwood University where he was a member of the 2016 National Championship team. While at Lindenwood, Bopp studied Exercise Science with a minor in Nutrition and had the opportunity to intern with the St. Louis Blues Strength and Conditioning Department during their 2015-2016 Western Conference Final run.
“I’m looking forward to joining the TPH family because of the variety of students I get to coach,” said Bopp. “I love the challenge of finding ways to connect with different players to help them grow as people and hockey players. This is a unique opportunity because I’m equally excited to learn from Phil, Bobby, Scott and Bruce. These coaches all have an established background that can help broaden my own perspective in how I coach others.”
Bopp currently owns Bodies By Bopp LLC and works with athletes of all ages to help improve strength, coordination and sport performance. With his past experience, he will be a tremendous asset to student-athletes in St. Louis.
“I believe each person is the sum of their own experiences and you can learn something from everyone you cross paths with,” said Bopp. “I’ve worked with players from 6U all the way to the NHL level, so I’m excited to coach the athlete and not the sport. Each student at TPH has a different goal and driving factor for the game of hockey so it is my job to figure how to get the most out of each individual.”
Learn more about the Center of Excellence.
Former D-I athlete to serve as Player Development Coach & Mentor
(ST. LOUIS, MO – August 24, 2020) – Philip McRae, Director of Hockey-Operation for Total Package Hockey (TPH) St. Louis, has announced the addition of Zach Jordan as a Player Development Coach & Mentor.
Prior to joining TPH, Jordan played a season in the NAHL, four seasons in the USHL and for the previous four years, he was a right wing for the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks. His path is one that TPH is preparing its student athletes for should they choose it.
“Zach has done exactly what our student hockey players are striving to do,” said McRae. “He is going to be a great example for our kids, and we are thrilled to have Zach join the TPH St. Louis team until the 2020-21 professional hockey season begins.”
Jordan just completed four years playing Division-I college hockey, and he’s excited to share that experience with the student athletes at TPH. One thing he’s quickly learned over his experience in junior and college hockey is that fun still needs to be a part of it.
“I think the main thing I want to instill in them is that there’s a lot of hard work to get there, but there’s fun with it, too,” said Jordan. “If you stop having fun with it all, then you’re not going to enjoy it anymore. You won’t be truly as good as you can be if you’re not having fun.”
During his senior year, Jordan wore an “A” as an assistant captain for the Mavericks. Building good leaders and citizens in the community is a focal point at TPH, and Jordan understands that there are different kinds of leaders. For him, finding balance and understanding your own leadership style is key.
“The biggest thing when it comes to being a leader is that you have to understand the best way for you to lead as a person,” said Jordan. “For me, it was a balance between being vocal and leading by example. I think that’s one of the biggest things with showing younger kids how to be good leaders. It’s not always the rah-rah person. You can lead by example just by doing the work every day.”
When it comes to the big picture, Jordan has the right mindset, and that will be an important factor when helping to prepare TPH student-athletes. When you invest the time in being a part of something great, it comes full circle. That’s also an important concept of leadership.
“As a senior this year, at the end of the year we talked with the freshman class and they were just so appreciative of what we did for them,” said Jordan when sharing one of his favorite moments from last season. “It was just full circle of how we were treated and how we were able to learn and grow and get them started on the right path. It was rewarding going through the whole experience.”
From his experiences going through multiple levels of hockey, to his development as a leader, Zach Jordan brings a wealth of knowledge to his role as a Player Development Coach & Mentor.
Maryland Heights, MO – Total Package Hockey is pleased to announce additions of part-time Player Development Coach & Mentors, Scott Brandes and Jeff LoVecchio, to the TPH St. Louis team. Both have Missouri roots and will bring a great deal of playing and coaching experience to the TPH Center of Excellence in St. Louis.
Growing up in St. Louis playing for the Jr. Blues, today Brandes is the owner and head instructor of “End2End Hockey” in St. Louis. Specializing in power skating, Brandes has built his reputation as one of the premier instructors in the market. Brandes will be at the Center of Excellence once a week throughout the school year, helping teach and develop the student-athletes on the ice.
“Scott was my assistant coach in 2005 for our AAA Blues team that won the National Championship,” said Philip McRae, TPH St. Louis Director of Hockey-Operations, “He ran all of our development and skills skates that year and I believe Scott will be a great addition to the on-ice staff and have a huge impact on our students, specifically with their skating.”
LoVecchio grew up in Chesterfield, MO and played all his youth hockey in the St. Louis minor hockey system. After leaving St. Louis, LoVecchio spent three years in the United States Hockey League (USHL) and three seasons at Western Michigan University where he served as captain. Following college, LoVecchio continued on to a 10 year pro career including time in the AHL, Italy, Norway, Austria, and Japan.
Currently, LoVecchio is considered the top off ice hockey trainer in St. Louis training NHL players down to youth players. LoVecchio will be at the Center of Excellence once a month throughout the year to mentor the student athletes with advice and teaching points on lifestyle skills, daily habits, choices, nutrition, off ice training, and recovery.
“Jeff is the first to admit he was not the most skilled player or had the most god given talent.” said McRae. “He made it to Junior, College, and Pro from his work ethic, daily choices, and habits. Jeff truly practices what he preaches daily.”
Both Brandes and LoVecchio bring unique experiences and vast knowledge that will help provide a quality experience to the student-athletes at the TPH Center of Excellence – St. Louis. If you are interested in learning more about the TPH Center of Excellence – St. Louis, we invite you to visit the links below.
- Click here to request more information on the CoE model.
- Click here to apply for the TPH Center of Excellence – St. Louis, which is the first formal step in the registration process for the 2020-2021 school year.