The Phoenix Jr. Coyotes have earned designation as a USA Hockey Model Association it was announced today by USA Hockey. The Jr. Coyotes are the first Model Association from Arizona and the 26th nationally.
With the designation, the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes have committed to fully implementing programming dedicated to age-appropriate, age-specific skill development in accordance with USA Hockey’s American Development Model throughout the 8-and-Under, 10-and-Under, 12-and-Under and 14-and-Under age classifications.
“The Phoenix staff has worked tirelessly to understand and implement USA Hockey development recommendations,” said Joe Bonnett, who serves as a USA Hockey ADM regional manager. “They have proven over the past three years that they not only meet, but live player development on a daily basis. I am extremely excited to continue our work together and can’t wait to see what the future holds for youth hockey in Phoenix.”
The Ice Den Scottsdale, a 150,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art skating and entertainment center, is home to the Coyotes Amateur Hockey Association and its Jr. Coyotes teams. Nationally recognized Learn to Skate programs are held annually, helping provide new families the opportunity to get started in hockey.
“We’re excited about the USA Hockey development model and want to continue to grow and get better every day,” said Marc Fritsche, Phoenix Jr. Coyotes Program director. “It’s amazing to see the growth of the game in Arizona over the past 10 years. Kenny Corupe, our youth hockey director, has been heavily involved in this process and growing our hockey program as well. Everyone from our ownership group, our directors and all our coaches have been crucial in ensuring that we focus on a player centered mentality.”
The program also boasts house-level programs and multiple teams at every age division of Tier I and Tier II. Through their mission to promote skill development and character building while focusing on core values of teamwork, commitment, responsibility and respect, the Jr. Coyotes have built a solid ice hockey foundation in the Arizona desert. More than 90 players have graduated from the program and gone on to play junior hockey, ACHA, NCAA Division I, professionally and some have represented USA Hockey on the international stage.
Thirty different Jr. Coyotes teams have earned Arizona Amateur Hockey Association state championships, with three of those teams winning Rocky Mountain District championships. The notable success isn’t possible without the commitment to development on and off the ice, as well as full community participation. For nearly 20 years, the Jr. Coyotes have supported families financially, currently through The Center Ice Fund, which aims to eliminate barriers to participation and encourages personal development through competition, teamwork and athletic achievement. The Center Ice Fund is supported entirely by private donations.
NOTES: USA Hockey Model Associations span from coast to coast and now represent 16 states … Every youth hockey organization affiliated with USA Hockey has the opportunity to earn model association status.