TPH Appoints Jay Sprague to Lead Denver As Director
(Denver, CO – March 9, 2021) – TPH Colorado is excited to announce Jay Sprague as Director of Hockey – Operations for its Denver division. A product of the sports academy model himself, Sprague comes to TPH with a breadth of hockey experience that includes winning an NCAA DI National Championship, playing professionally, and coaching at both the youth and college levels.
“We’re honored to be able to have Jay join our team in Colorado,” said Executive Director, Jordan Pietrus. “Jay has a deep understanding of the game, great experience playing, coaching, and also in player development. However the most important piece that Jay has is a passion for sharing all of this knowledge with the next generation.”
Sprague has walked the path that most Center of Excellence students would like to take, preparing him perfectly to lead the student-athletes at TPH Denver. Sprague attended and played hockey for IMG Academy before moving on to a junior hockey career in the USHL. After playing a combined 90 games for the Chicago Steel and the Indiana Ice, Sprague earned an athletic scholarship at Michigan State University where he was a member of the 2007 NCAA National Championship team. During his time at Michigan State, he was a four-year letter winner and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. After finishing college, Jay went on to play professionally in the ECHL and CHL before he eventually decided to transition from a career as a player to a career as a coach and mentor.
“It was an easy decision for me to make the move to coaching, and youth development is where I felt I could make the biggest impact,” said Sprague. “The game of hockey has given me so much and I’m fully committed to giving back as much as I possibly can.”
Most recently Sprague has served as the Director of Skills Development for Defense First Hockey School in Toronto. Working under the tutelage of former NHL blueliner, Mike Weaver, Sprague has had the opportunity to learn from one of the top defenseman coaches in North America and has spent time coaching some of the top players in Canada. Sprague has also devoted time coaching both male and female players throughout the youth and college ranks. Starting with an assistant coaching role at Ryerson University in Toronto, he proceeded to lead teams at SUNY Cortland in upstate New York, and then served as the Girl’s Head Coach at Nichols School a prep school in Buffalo, NY. Now as a member of the TPH family, he’s thrilled to have the opportunity to empower the next generation of up and coming hockey players in Colorado.
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“TPH is a natural fit and a perfect setting for me to be able to build valuable relationships with the student-athletes and help them along their academic and athletic journeys,” said Sprague. “I look forward to making an impact with these players on day one and taking responsibility for helping them realize their potential.”
The future of student-athlete development at Denver’s Center of Excellence is primed to continue thriving as Sprague comes aboard. While some coaches lead best by instruction and others by example, he is prepared to do both.
“Jay Sprague exemplifies exactly what we want our student-athletes to embody at TPH: a drive, work ethic and tenacity to achieve your goals coupled with humility and a genuine spirit,” continued Jordan Pietrus. “What I like most about Jay, is that nothing has ever been given to him. He has achieved so much over the course of his career, but he has had to work and persevere to achieve his goals. These are valuable lessons I believe he can pass on to the student-athletes at the CoE, because he has the passion to do so, and he has walked the path himself!”
Please join us in welcoming Jay to Denver and the TPH Family!