CHICAGO, ILL – USHL President and Commissioner Tom Garrity has informed the USHL Board of Directors that he has made the decision to transition out of the role in 2021. Garrity will stay on as President and Commissioner until June 30, 2021 and will help lead the transition process and selection of his successor.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision,” said Garrity. “I have greatly enjoyed my time with the USHL and believe this league is on a path to continued success.
“When I took this role in an interim capacity, I never could have imagined staying for as long as I did. Knowing our league is on solid ground, it’s time to hand the reigns to the next leader who can continue the growth and prosperity of the best league in junior hockey. I made this decision now to allow ample time to transition and to put the new Commissioner in the best possible position to succeed.”
Garrity was the President and CEO of the Sioux Falls Stampede when he agreed to become interim Commissioner in November 2017 before accepting the full-time role in May 2018.
Under Garrity’s leadership, the USHL has expanded its partnerships with USA Hockey and the National Hockey League to allow the USHL to emerge as a clear leader in junior hockey in North America. Over 50 players with USHL ties have been selected in the NHL Draft during each year of Garrity’s tenure, including a record 57 at the 2018 NHL Draft.
In partnership with USA Hockey and the NHL, the USHL has vastly expanded development resources available to players and teams. These initiatives have occurred in the areas of video and analytics, mental wellness, diversity/inclusion, academic counseling and tutoring, coach and trainer development, officiating and player safety.
“Tom has helped heighten the prominence of the USHL during his tenure,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “As the top junior league in our country, the USHL plays an important role in our overall development efforts within USA Hockey and we’re most appreciative of the many things Tom has done to improve and advance the league.”
Garrity led the League’s efforts to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, working with key stakeholders to develop protocols that prioritize the safety of players and staff, leading to the successful launch of the season in early November 2020. His work prior to the pandemic in prioritizing the league budget, key events and key partnerships has put the League in the position to help weather the financial storm caused by the pandemic.
“Tom’s contributions during his time as USHL Commissioner were significant,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. “He continued to elevate the USHL’s status as a premier junior league for elite level hockey in the United States and as a prime development platform for future NHL Players. Tom also shared in the NHL’s vision to better align all levels of hockey around common goals, objectives and principles for the betterment of the game. We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors and will always consider him a valued member of our hockey family.”
The USHL has grown and created several key events during Garrity’s time with the league including transitioning the Fall Classic in Pittsburgh, Penn. (2018) to include regular season games, the introduction of the Frosty Cup in Dallas, Tex. (2020) which included an outdoor game at the Cotton Bowl, and the BioSteel Top Prospects Game in Plymouth, Mich. (2020), hosted by USA Hockey and broadcast on the NHL Network.
“I want to recognize our outstanding league staff as well as the owners in this league who have collectively shown their unparalleled commitment to player development by playing this season despite the obvious financial ramifications,” said Garrity. “I also want to recognize our partners at the NHL and USA Hockey for their unwavering support of our league and its mission.”
With a diverse background that includes working with NHL, MLB, NBA and MLS teams as well as part ownership in the independent Sioux Falls Canaries baseball club, Garrity plans a return to his entrepreneurial roots and will be partnering with advertising guru and close friend, John King, as they launch OWNER, a new venture created out of a merger with Garrity’s former company, Quan Sports Marketing.
The USHL will immediately begin a search for its next President and Commissioner. Brendan Bruss, President of PMI Entertainment Group which operates the Green Bay Gamblers, will lead the search on behalf of the USHL and in collaboration with Garrity. Interested applicants are asked to submit their qualifications to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the 2020-21 season will be the USHL's 19th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league. The USHL had 51 players selected at the 2020 NHL Draft, marking the third-straight season with 50-or-more USHL players selected in the Draft. More than 800 league alumni are currently on NCAA Division I rosters, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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