Damian Surma brings Detroit experience to TPH-Indy Team
Total Package Hockey is pleased to announce that Damian Surma will assume the position of Player Development Coach & Mentor for TPH’s Indy division.
Surma will take on the same role he has held within TPH’s Detroit division since joining the company in 2014. In addition, Surma will serve as the Head Coach of the Indy Junior Fuel ‘AAA’ 2007 team. He takes over for Jared Mohr, who recently accepted a coaching position in Laredo, Texas, with a franchise in the upstart USA Central Hockey League.
“We are thrilled to welcome Damian Surma to the TPH-Indy family,” Greg Austin, Director of Hockey-Operations for the TPH-Indy division, said. “Surms has an extensive hockey background and has spent that past three seasons honing his craft in Detroit under the tutelage of Brandon Naurato. Coach Naurato’s on-ice development plan has aided in the growth of hundreds of players, seven of whom were selected in the NHL draft this past June. Surms has been alongside Brandon, learning from him while putting his own creative stamp on how TPH develops its players. Because of this, Surms’ transition to Indy will be seamless. We are delighted to welcome a man of Damian’s background and character to Indy. Our hockey operation got a lot better today.”
Indy Junior Fuel ‘AAA’ Director of Hockey-Operations Chris Lipsett echoed Austin’s sentiments and says he is looking forward to adding Surma to his coaching line-up for the 2018-2019 season.
“Having Surms coach in the Junior Fuel ‘AAA’ program will be of great benefit to all of our players, notably, the 2007’s that he will directly mentor,” Lipsett said. “Surms has played at many levels, from Major Junior to the minor leagues, to Europe and right up to the NHL. In Detroit, he also worked with a number of elite players such as Zach Werenski, Dylan Larkin, J.T. Compher and Josh Norris. Beyond his resume, however, it his passion for helping players of all ages hone their skills that families in our Junior Fuel ‘AAA’ program will appreciate the most.”
As Lipsett referenced, Surma brings his extensive playing resume with him to Indy. The Lincoln Park, Mich., native played his junior hockey in the Detroit area with the NAHL’s Compuware Ambassadors and the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers. In 1999, Surma was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 6th round of the NHL Draft. Surma spent three seasons in the Hurricanes organization, amassing over 200 games with the Canes and their minor-league affiliates, the Lowell Lock Monsters and Florida Everblades. He would go on to spend the next nine years of his professional career at the Double ‘A’ pro level in the U.S., as well as overseas in Italy.
While in Detroit, Surma was part of a hockey staff that has aided in the development of many elite players. Over the past few seasons, TPH-Detroit’s Center of Excellence alone has produced four NHL Draft picks, eight NHL Central Scouting-listed players, 28 OHL and 29 USHL draft picks and 25 NCAA commitments, just to name a few.
Surma is excited to bring his perspective and experience from both his playing days as well as his time mentoring student-athletes in Detroit to help TPH-Indy further impact student-athletes in a market he describes as “flourishing.”
“First off, I want to thank Brandon Naurato and the entire TPH-Detroit team for all they have done for me to this point,” Surma said. “I have developed a stronger hockey knowledge base thanks to all of my experiences, specifically those from TPH in Detroit. I come to Indy wanting to take all of my experiences to grow an already solid base that Greg Austin and his staff have quickly built over a very short period of time. Whether it be on the ice at the Center of Excellence, in the many other camps and clinics Indy offers, or with the Junior Fuel ‘AAA’ 07’s, everything we do will continue to be about executing the TPH vision of positively impacting the lives of student-athletes. Greg and Chris have set the bar. I look forward to helping raise it.”