COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2023 USA Hockey Level 5 Coaches Symposium – with a star-studded lineup of speakers -- begins tomorrow (May 4) in Falmouth, Massachusetts. The sold-out event includes more than 450 coaches from across the United States seeking their Level 5 certification, the highest offered by USA Hockey.
Gary Thorne (Old Towne, Maine), one of the most iconic play-by-play voices in hockey, will serve as a master of ceremonies for the event. Tomorrow’s opening night will feature a panel of the four men’s ice hockey head coaches from the schools that participate in the famed Beanpot tournament: Greg Brown (Scituate, Mass./Boston College), Ted Donato (Cambridge, Mass./Harvard University), Jerry Keefe (Saugus, Mass./Northeastern University), and Jay Pandolfo (Burlington, Mass./Boston University).
On Friday (May 5), members of the 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team, who made history winning the first Olympic gold medal in women’s hockey at the Nagano Olympic Winter Games, will take the stage for a panel discussion. Friday also includes seminars from several speakers including Detroit Red Wings assistant coach Jay Varady (Cahokia, Ill.).
Featured speakers on Saturday (May 6) include a panel of Boston Bruins alumni, followed by several Division I college hockey coaches, including Liz Keady Norton (Braintree, Mass.), head women’s ice hockey coach at Dartmouth College and head coach of the 2024 U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team.
The Symposium wraps up on Sunday (May 7) with legendary college hockey head coaches coaches Jerry York (Watertown, Mass.) and Jack Parker (Somerville, Mass.) taking center stage for a panel discussion, followed by a presentation from Providence College head coach Nate Leaman (Providence, R.I).
Typically held every other year, the Level 5 Coaches Symposium will offer general sessions, as well as the opportunity to explore innovative approaches to coaching in rotating breakout sessions. The event offers coaches a hands-on opportunity to learn from some of the greatest hockey minds in the country.
USA Hockey announced the recipients of three scholarships associated with its Level 5 Symposium.
Ryann Gelder and Robert Litwin are recipients of the Diversity in Coaching Level 5 Scholarship, while Karl Norton has received the Red Gendron Memorial Scholarship. All three scholarships cover all expenses for the coaches to attend the event.
Geldner has been a volunteer at Ice Hockey in Harlem for 10 years, and is currently a technology teacher at P.S. 129 in Harlem where several of her students have become Ice Hockey in Harlem participants.
Litwin has been an Ice Hockey in Harlem volunteer coach for nine years and involved coaching kids from Learn to Skate to 18U. Litwin’s sons Raphael and Leon are Ice Hockey in Harlem graduates, and are now involved as coaches.
Norton has been a hockey coach in Connecticut for 39 years, guiding players from 8U to 18U. Currently a member of the USA Hockey Connecticut Coaching Development staff, he spent the last 15 seasons as a coach with the South Windsor Youth Hockey Association, and prior to that, 24 seasons with the Eastern Connecticut Hockey Organization.
ABOUT RED GENDRON
Gendron was the head men’s ice hockey coach at the University of Maine from 2013-2021 before he passed away in April of 2021. His coaching career spanned more than three decades, including at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. The scholarship is awarded to a coach who has a tremendous passion for coaching and the game of hockey, embodying the values of Gendron and his immense positive impact on the sport.