The United States Hockey League announced today that President and Commissioner Bob Fallen will depart after leading the nation’s top junior hockey league for nearly three and a half years. Fallen will provide consulting services over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition of duties.
“I believe strongly in the USHL, its purpose and fully expect it to continue to be regarded as one of the world’s top developmental leagues,” said Fallen. “Individuals and organizations evolve and change. I’m leaving on good terms and it’s time to seek new challenges and opportunities.”
When assuming the leadership role in 2014, the new Commissioner was tasked with building upon the solid foundation established by his predecessors and league shareholders that positioned the USHL as one of the world’s premiere junior hockey leagues. While NCAA commitments, NHL Draft selections and USHL coaching advancement have continued to grow each year, Fallen is noted most for leading the league to new heights in promotion, marketing partnerships and event development. Fallen was instrumental in the creation of a tripartite relationship with the National Hockey League and USA Hockey, which benefits the development of players, coaches and officials.
“Bob’s passion for the league, marketing expertise, relationships within the North American hockey community, and his sincere, tireless efforts contributed significantly to the growth of the USHL brand,” said Brad Kwong, Managing Partner of the Dubuque Fighting Saints and former USHL chairman.
Fallen led the league’s re-branding effort introduced prior to the 2016 NHL Draft with the league’s player-focused campaign #WhosNext. In addition, Fallen championed the “Make the Educated Decision” campaign and “The Path” marketing platform which promoted the route to the NHL available to the world’s top players via college hockey and NCAA-compliant junior leagues.
Fallen bolstered the USHL media department to allow for better communication of the league’s purpose and prowess of its players and coaches. He also commandeered alliances with media outlets such as USA Hockey Magazine and NHL Network to significantly expand exposure for the league. Total measured media impressions from traditional outlets jumped from 8.7 million in 2014 to 16.4 million in 2016, as well as social media total followings from 29,000 to over 100,000 fans to date.
The strong relationship with the NHL brought the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and USHL Fall Classic to higher levels in audience and scouting attendance. This year’s Fall Classic preseason showcase attracted a record number of NHL and NCAA scouts.
“It has been a genuine pleasure to have worked with Bob Fallen during his tenure as USHL Commissioner,” said Dan Marr, NHL Central Scouting Director. “I have admired his passion for the USHL and all the positive accomplishments that have been achieved by the USHL under his leadership.”
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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