Total Package Hockey is pleased to announce that Dwayne Norris will become the new Director of Hockey for TPH-Detroit. This announcement comes just weeks after former TPH-Detroit Director of Hockey Brandon Naurato accepted a position as a Player Development Consultant for the Detroit Red Wings.
As part of this transition, Naurato will remain in his capacity as both a Partner and Director of Player Development for all of TPH, and will continue to train TPH-Detroit student-athletes on the ice, through both the Center of Excellence and the 8 Week Progression Program.
“First off, we would like to congratulate Brandon on the unbelievable accomplishment of not only earning an opportunity to follow his passion at the NHL level, but also, for the chance to make a mark on his hometown team,” Total Package Hockey CEO Nathan Bowen said. “While Nar is passionate, bright and cutting edge, his desire to grind is his best quality. He has worked effortlessly to grow TPH’s presence in the Detroit market and has been the posterchild for our vision of positively impacting the lives of student-athletes through the game of hockey. We look forward to watching Nar succeed in his role with the Red Wings, while he continues to devout his energy to making all TPH student-athletes the best they can be.”
While Naurato is focused on playing his part in helping the Red Wings better develop its players, he is quick to point out that TPH will remain a priority as he begins a new chapter in his professional career.
“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to contribute to the Red Wings organization,” Naurato said. “What makes this opportunity extra-special is that it will allow me to keep impacting TPH. It’s not one over the other. I am totally committed to assisting Dwayne in bettering what we do, from training, to programming, to mentorship, and I will do everything I can to support our student-athletes in their development in hockey and in life. The kids have always been priority one. That will never change.”
In hiring Norris, TPH welcomes an individual with decades of experience in playing, coaching and management. The former Michigan State Spartan played four seasons in the green and white, from 1988 to 1992. Selected No. 127 overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, the St. John’s, Newfoundland native enjoyed a 16-year professional playing career after graduating from MSU. Norris spent the final 10 seasons of his playing career overseas in Germany. After hanging up his skates in 2007, Norris transitioned from the ice to the front office, becoming the General Manager of the Frankfort Lions, the team he played for during the previous four seasons.
Norris returned to the United States in 2010 and used his hockey management experience to begin a career in business. While working full-time, Norris has spent the last five seasons serving as the Director of Hockey for the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies program. During this time, he has coached Grizzlies teams at the U14, U15 and U16 levels. Norris will maintain his role with the Jr. Grizzlies, while taking on the Director of Hockey responsibilities for TPH-Detroit.
CEO Nathan Bowen calls Norris a “hockey man” and believes his diverse resume will greatly benefit all student-athletes within TPH-Detroit programs.
“Dwayne is an impressive guy,” Bowen said. “His hockey and business knowledge, leadership experience and passion for mentorship aligns perfectly with the vision of TPH. Both our hockey department and our student-athletes are in the hands of an individual we have the utmost amount of respect for and confidence in.”
Bowen also referenced his level of intrigue not just with Norris, but also his body of work with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies, a program known to be on the rise at both the Tier I and Tier II youth levels.
“For the past few years, I have watched the Jr. Grizzlies program grow the right way under Dwayne and Terry Bishop’s leadership,” Bowen said. “Quality organizations and quality people go hand-in-hand. I would like to thank the Jr. Grizzlies for allowing us to bring Dwayne on board. We would not have been able to make this happen without their cooperation and support.
Norris is energized to begin his new role and make hockey an even bigger part of his life.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to head the hockey operation for TPH in Detroit, a place my family and I have called home for 26 years,” Norris said. “TPH has an outstanding reputation across Detroit and the hockey world for helping players enhance their skills and develop into the types of young people that have success in life. When Nar and Nathan shared their vision for the future and outlined their five-year plan for TPH-Detroit, it became clear to me that this is an opportunity that doesn’t come around every day. To be part of growing TPH while I also maintain my commitment to the Grizzlies is very energizing and motivating.”
Hockey runs deep within the Norris family. Dwayne and his wife Traci are the proud parents of three boys, all of whom are chasing their hockey dreams at elite levels. Their oldest son, Coale will enter his sophomore season at Ferris State in the fall. Middle son Josh is a first-round draft pick of the San Jose Sharks and will be a sophomore at the University of Michigan, while youngest Dalton, property of the Tri-City Storm in the USHL, will skate for the U18 Jr. Grizzlies this season and attend the TPH Center of Excellence.
Norris hopes his experience as a “hockey dad” will help him better relate to families of current and prospective TPH players as they embark on their hockey journeys.
“The hockey waters can be challenging to navigate,” Norris said. “Traci and I are going through it now. I’d like to think the experiences we’ve had and the decisions we’ve made – the good ones and the not-so-good ones – will allow us to connect with moms and dads and sons and daughters who are trying to find their path forward. I am a dad first and foremost. I believe this will be an asset in my new role. My goal is to apply the same level of care to our student-athletes as I would if it were my own kids. Education is big in our family. It will be priority one within TPH-Detroit moving forward. If it’s not right for my kids, it won’t be done within TPH. That will be the litmus test for me in this role.”
With the 2018-2019 season right around the corner, Bowen was quick to point out that Norris’ arrival is just another addition to a long list of exciting happenings within TPH-Detroit, among them, the relocation of the Center of Excellence to Bloomfield Township, Michigan.
“We have a great opportunity in front of us in Detroit. The CoE is moving to an immaculate facility in a great location, where we are partnered with like-minded people in Steve Mazur, Jerod Swallow and Joe Neal, who share our vision. We have a terrific support staff. We’re coming off an incredible summer that saw four Detroit CoE alums get selected in the NHL Draft, 26 TPH-trained players attend NHL summer development camps, and now, we have a quality leader in Dwayne, who will build off Nar’s foundation and lead us forward. Now, more than ever, TPH is committed to our mission of exceeding expectations one choice a time.”