Zirnis Returns Home to Nashville in Dual Hockey Role
August 6th, 2021, Nashville, TN- TPH Nashville and the Nashville Jr. Predators are proud to announce the hiring of Karlis Zirnis as the Head of Hockey for the Nashville Center of Excellence (CoE). Zirnis will also serve as the Head Coach of the Jr. Predators 18U AAA team. As the Head of Hockey, Zirnis will oversee the application of TPH’s on and off-ice Hockey-Athlete Development Model, mentor student-athletes, and execute all training and practice plans.
“We are thrilled to welcome Karlis back to the TPH family,” TPH CEO Nathan Bowen said. “Karlis is passionate, connected within the hockey world, and has invaluable experience coaching at the levels our student-athletes are striving to get to. Our families in Nashville should be comforted by the fact that hockey is being led by an individual who knows what it takes for players to reach the next level. Karlis’ resume alone proves that.”
In mentioning “resume,” Bowen is referencing Zirnis’ vast and diverse experience coaching hockey players at all levels. A native of Riga, Latvia, Zirnis is no stranger to TPH, having previously served as a coach in the Thunder ‘AAA’ program following his retirement from the professional game in 2010. Since his first stint with TPH, Zirnis has enjoyed coaching stops at both the junior, collegiate, and international levels. He has captured a Robertson Cup Championship as Head Coach of the NAHL’s Shreveport Mudbugs, has spent the past three seasons as an Assistant Coach at the NCAA Division I level, first with the University of Alaska and then at his alma mater, the University of Alabama-Huntsville, and has coached with the Latvian Hockey Federation since 2014. Zirnis recently accepted a position as Director of Player Personnel for the NAHL’s Amarillo Wranglers, a role he will occupy while leading hockey for TPH in Nashville.
Zirnis says he desires to take all of his experiences and work alongside what he calls a “dedicated staff” in TPH-Nashville to positively impact the lives of student-athletes.
“For me, it’s great to return to Nashville, a place I have called home for close to a decade, and be back with TPH, showing hockey players how to reach their potential,” Zirnis said. “My goal is to lead hockey programs for TPH that put skill development first and build off the unbelievable foundation Steve Jennings has laid with the 18U team. Winning will be defined by our ability to teach all of our student-athletes about what it takes to be a successful hockey player and person, and by the doors, we can help open for our kids at the next level. I can’t wait to get after it.”
Zirnis and TPH Chief Operating Officer Francis Anzalone are presently overseas leading the Latvian Under 20 program through its August Development Camp. He will take the hockey reigns of TPH-Nashville and the 18U Predators when he returns to the U.S. later this month.
To learn more about our Nashville TPH CoE, click here.
Founded in 2001, TPH seeks to become the world leader in positively impacting the lives of student-athletes. 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 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 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.