Pat Kelleher, who has guided USA Hockey’s efforts in development since 2008 and prior to that was recruited to launch what is today known as the United States Ice Rink Association, has been named executive director of USA Hockey.
He will officially begin his duties on June 10 and replaces Dave Ogrean, who is retiring from the position.
“We’re excited to have Pat lead our organization as we continue to move forward,” said USA Hockey president Jim Smith in a statement. “He brings a vast knowledge of USA Hockey and the overall hockey landscape and is well connected at all levels of the game. Pat’s done an excellent job in leading our growth initiatives and also been at the forefront of our efforts to raise additional resources through The USA Hockey Foundation.”
“I am humbled and honored to have this opportunity,” added Kelleher. “So many people have helped build this organization into the worldwide leader that it is today, and I look forward to working with our board, staff, grassroots volunteers and the many other constituent groups involved as we continue to elevate our sport.”
Kelleher helped start a new department at USA Hockey in 2008 focused on increasing participation across the country, particularly at the entry level. As assistant executive director for membership development, he established and led implementation of several new initiatives, including national Try Hockey for Free Days, Welcome Back Week and the 2 and 2 Challenge. Those programs have not only resulted in increased retention, but also advanced the number of players at the 8U level by some 20 percent over the course of the last eight seasons, including a record number of 8U players (115,694) in 2016-17.
In 2011, Kelleher was given additional responsibilities overseeing the USA Hockey Foundation and has championed efforts that have resulted in donations to the Foundation’s Circle of Champions increasing five-fold over the last five years. He also established a trustee program to more actively engage high net-worth donors in supporting USA Hockey’s mission, in addition to creating the “It Starts With A Stick” campaign to connect USA Hockey’s membership to the foundation’s philanthropic mission through raising funds to provide 12,000 hockey sticks to new participants each year.
He also spent time as the hockey director at the Ice Centre of San Jose from 1994 to 1996 and following graduation from Brown, was an assistant coach at the UMass Boston for one season (1993-94).
A 1992 graduate of Brown, where he was a four-year member of the hockey program, Kelleher earned a bachelor of arts degree in business economics and has also received both the Olympic Sport Leadership Certification and Non-Profit Finance Certification from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.