A Passion Project: More Than Hockey

TPH Alum, Robby Murray launches new entrepreneurial project


When he stepped away from the game of hockey, TPH alum Robby Murray knew that he needed to find his next challenge. The nineteen-year-old had spent five years studying at the Nashville Center of Excellence while competing for the TPH Thunder and the Nashville Jr. Predators. After years of studying and training at the highest level, Robby was inspired to create a brand that reflected his experiences and values. The hockey player turned entrepreneur recently launched WRDS, a clothing brand that was built to inspire others to remain committed to learning, training, and pushing the boundaries of what they’re capable of.

 

“I had to find what was next for me and figure out who I want to be outside of hockey,” Robby said. “I wanted to create more than just another clothing line, I wanted to build something that would inspire people to continue learning. WRDS is built on many of my values and it keeps me dedicated to bettering myself.” The young entrepreneur has fully devoted his time towards learning how to run a business, stating that he has found fulfillment in learning everything from how to write a business plan and marketing strategy, to negotiating with manufacturers and filing taxes. 

Robby credits his time at TPH for developing a variety of skills that have translated to the business world, including his work ethic, competitive drive, and networking abilities. “The relationships I built through TPH were monumental in getting WRDS off the ground. When I came up with the idea, the first people I told were my TPH teammates.”

 

“We couldn’t be more proud of Robby,” mentioned Pat O’Neil, Executive Director of TPH Southeast. “He’s a perfect example of how the lessons learned at TPH can be translated to life after hockey, and we’re thrilled to see that he’s pursuing his newfound passion off of the ice. Our entire team is rooting for him and we can’t wait to see where this endeavor leads him.”

 

The unique NCAA accredited blended learning model develops student-athletes into critical thinkers and problem solvers, and Robby is a testament to how the “TPH Way” is a stepping stone for winning in the ultimate game: the game of life.

Whether on the ice or off, move the puck on your student-athlete’s success by registering for the upcoming National Virtual Open House as we offer a better way to academic and athletic excellence! 

Former USHL Coach Mike Berra Joins Nashville Jr. Predators and TPH Nashville Team

We are excited to announce that Mike Berra will be joining the Nashville Jr. Predators and TPH Nashville team later on this month. Mike will assume the role as a full-time head coach for the Jr. Predators program and as the Head of Hockey at the TPH Center of Excellence.

 

Mike brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience, working with NHL, pro, college, junior and youth hockey players of all ages and skill levels. His experience, coupled with his focus on player development, advancement and mentorship, is a great match and fit with both Jr. Predators and TPH.

Prior to assuming his new role, Mike has spent the last six years with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL; serving as a Scout, Assistant Coach, and currently as Director of Player Development. In his time with the Musketeers, Mike has helped coach, recruit and develop players to reach the NCAA Division 1 and professional levels.

 

When asked about the transition, Sioux City Musketeers Head Coach, Luke Strand, stated, “Mike is a true pro. He is constantly finding ways for players to develop on and off the ice. His passion and experiences will enhance a player’s knowledge and abilities, translating into new opportunities for their young careers. He will be a great addition to TPH”.

 

Coach Berra has also spent six years with Synergy Hockey Skills as the Director of Hockey and Lead Instructor; and 10 years with the St. Louis AAA Blues as a Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations where he worked with notable NHL alumni such as Al MacInnis, Jeff Brown, Scott Mellanby and Jamie Rivers.

 

Mike’s proven track record of helping advance the hockey careers of players in the junior, collegiate and professional levels shows he is a passionate leader who is committed to excellence. As a head coach and program Director for the AAA Blues, Berra mentored and helped Trent Frederic (98) of the Boston Bruins, Christian Berger (00) with Penn State, Tony Follmer (00) now at Bemidji State University, Logan Ritchie (00) currently at St. Lawrence University, Henry Wagner (01) at Yale, Cole Mcward (01) playing at Ohio State, Jakub Dobes (01) also at Ohio State and property of the Montreal Canadiens, Jack Williams (01) a member of the Waterloo Black Hawks in the USHL and committed to Notre Dame and Hunter Mckown (02) who played at the US National Program and is now playing for Colorado College, to name a few.

 

Off the ice, Mike enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Rachel, 8-month old daughter, Jovie, and his two dogs, Dave and Dolly.

Mike and his family are thrilled to be taking on this new adventure. Coach Berra stated, “I am very excited to be joining the Jr. Predators and TPH families. I will be committed to making a positive impact in the lives of all of our student-athletes, while helping the continued growth of hockey in the Nashville area”.

 

Advance your hockey journey in 2022 by learning from Coach Berra and becoming involved with TPH Center of Excellence Nashville.

 

See you in the classroom, on the ice or around campus soon!


About TPH
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.

Alan Keeso Named CEO as TPH Looks to Next 20 Years

(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!

Pat O’Neill

Born and raised in Freeport, Illinois, O’Neill earned his Bachelors and Master’s degree in Education from Illinois State University, as well as his Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Augusta University. With over a decade as a high school educator, four years as a high school principal, and a decade e working in training and business development and operations, O’Neill brings plenty of experience and knowledge to the Center of Excellence.

Jr. Preds Promote From Within

Nashville Jr. Predators Alumni and Former Captain Teddy Rotenberger Promoted as Tier 1 Director


Total Package Hockey Nashville (TPH) and the Nashville Jr. Predators (NJP) are proud to announce the promotion of Teddy Rotenberger to the Tier 1 Director position. Teddy has been part of the NJP organization for over 12 years, including his early days playing with the U13 squad in 2009, as well as serving as a head coach for the last two seasons. His path as a hockey player was not an easy one, but his relentless pursuit of his goals speaks to his character and his leadership abilities. 

 

Teddy captained the Jr. Predators to appearances in the 2013 and 2014 USA Hockey National Championship Tournament, winning a Bronze Medal in 2013 (U16 AAA). Upon moving to the junior level,  he made several stops in the North American Hockey League including Topeka, St. Louis, and Shreveport. Teddy went on to be a 3 time WCHA Scholar-Athlete en route to earning a Master’s Degree in Supply Chain and Logistics Management from University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). 

 

His commitment to the program shined when he began coaching the TPH Spring Prospect Program during his time at UAH. Teddy joined the coaching staff in August of 2020, working as the Head Coach of the 14AA and 16AA squads before landing with the 12AAA squad this past August. 

 

“We are so fortunate to have Teddy take on this leadership role as the new Tier I Director. We know that under his leadership, the standard will be raised,” says Nathan Bowen, CEO of Total Package Hockey. “He has a passion for helping people, he is a servant leader who puts others first and is an outstanding positive role model for any young athlete.”

 

Teddy’s first hand experience as a player in the organization will suit him well in his new role. “The Jr. Predators provide the opportunity for student-athletes to compete at the highest level of youth hockey while still being able to live at home as long as possible,” says the new Tier 1 Director. “NJP has continually demonstrated that our unique model fosters player development and advancement through the work of our dedicated full-time coaches and support staff coupled with the long-term commitment of our players and families.  Just this past season we saw 14 players from the 18U NJP team sign, get drafted or tendered into Tier II Junior Hockey teams, the next step on their journey to college hockey, which is, a new record for our program.”

 

TPH Nashville and the Nashville Jr. Predators are so proud to promote from within, and can’t wait to see the impact that Teddy has on the next generation of  NJP hockey players.

 

To learn more about TPH Nashville CoE, click here. 


About TPH

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 15 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.

 

04’s Best Kept Secret

TPH Center of Excellence student-athlete, Ethan Fredericks, defines next steps of his hockey career


Each season is critical for player development and recruiting exposure, and last year’s mid-pandemic hockey season was no exception. For players like Ethan Fredericks who were aiming to raise their stock, a world full of Covid-19 restrictions made it even more difficult to gain attention from college scouts. Regarded by The Scouting Network as “one of the most undervalued 2004’s in the nation,” the Georgia native was in need of a breakout 2021-21 season.

 

Fredericks cranked it up to ten during the 2020-21 season and put college scouts on notice. He led the Nashville Jr. Predators 16U AAA team with 36 goals and 62 points, which earned him the third place slot among all goal scorers in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League (T1EHL). Individual success was only a portion of the picture for Fredericks’s previous season as he and the Preds tangoed their way to the semi-finals of the T1EHL playoffs.

 

The hard work paid off in dividends as Fredericks committed to Northeastern University and inked a contract with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League (USHL). Fredericks kicked off his USHL journey this fall at just 16 years old, but made an early impact when he found the back of the net early in his second game. As the Bucs look to build on their 3-0 start, Fredericks hopes to keep the train rolling.

 

 

The TPH team will be cheering Fredericks on for the remainder of his USHL journey, and we can’t wait to watch him compete with the Huskies when he makes his arrival at Northeastern.

 

Want to learn more about how the TPH CoE model can help student-athletes reach their full potential? Check out our website to see for yourself!

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.


About TPH

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.

Briere Chosen for 2021 U.S. Under-17 Men’s Select Team

Twenty players who participated at the USA Hockey BioSteel Boys Select 16 Player Development Camp have been chosen for the 2021 U.S. Under-17 Men’s Select Team in Visp, Switzerland. With the roster set, TPH is ecstatic to announce that Cameron Briere, a Center of Excellence, Nashville, student-athlete was chosen to compete in this once in a lifetime experience.

“Cam is a very competitive player and more than deserving of this incredible opportunity. On behalf of all of us at TPH, we congratulate him and are thrilled to watch him compete on the international stage,” stated TPH CEO, Nathan Bowen.

“I would not be where I am today without TPH and the Jr. Preds. Without them, I wouldn’t have had the same chance of making the team or to represent my country,” noted Briere. “I owe it to both organizations as they have treated me like a pro each day and gave me the opportunities to become the best I can be. I want to say thank you to the staff, coaches, and my teammates for everything this year.” 

TPH is very excited for Cameron and wishes him all the best in this incredible opportunity!



To learn more about our Center of Excellence (CoE) locations, click here. 

About TPH

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. 

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Two TPH Alumni Nominated for Hobey Baker Award

The 2021 Hobey Baker Nominees were announced Monday and TPH is excited to see both Declan Carlile and Zach Solow as two of the 50 nominees.

Named after Hobart Amory Hare Baker, the Hobey Baker Award is considered the top award in all of college hockey. The honor is bestowed on the student-athlete who exhibits strength and character, both on and off the ice; while additionally contributing to the integrity of the program, displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game and shows great scholastic achievement, and sportsmanship.

Just understanding the type of character and drive it takes to be considered for this award, it is an honor to be nominated. Now factor in that there over 4,300 NCAA Division I hockey players, which statistically puts these players in the top one percent.

In his second season at Merrimack, Carlile has displayed his ability on the ice leading Hockey East and second in the nation in blocked shots while also leading his team in plus/minus. Coming off a season where he was named to to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team, the Business Administration major looks to help his team move up the Hockey East standings. Carlile is a TPH Detroit Summer Progression Program alumni.

As a senior at Northeastern, Solow was named captain this season and leads the team in scoring (11gp, 6g, 7a, 13p). Last season was memorable for Solow who was awarded the Beanpot MVP helping Northeastern win their third consecutive Beanpot title. Solow looks to continue helping the #14 Northeastern Huskies climb in the rankings. Solow is a Nashville Jr Predators alumni.

The Hobey Baker Award winner will be selected via a voting process. Anyone can submit their vote online. Click here to place your vote.