“As you might expect, we had a very strong field of candidates,” said Dave Klasnick, vice president of USA Hockey and the chair of the executive director search committee. “In the end, Pat rose to the top. He has important relationships with so many in the hockey world, from our volunteers at the grassroots level, to the NHL, NHLPA, American Hockey League, U.S. Olympic Committee and the IIHF among others. We’re excited to have him as our next executive director.”
“We very much look forward to working with Pat and think he’s an excellent choice,” said Gary Bettman, commissioner of the NHL. “We’ve known and engaged with him for many years and he brings the acumen and passion that will suit him well as the next executive director of USA Hockey.”
Prior to coming to USA Hockey, Kelleher helped launch Serving the American Rinks (STAR) in April 2000 and served as its chief operating office through June 2008. A joint initiative of USA Hockey and U.S. Figure Skating and housed at USA Hockey’s national headquarters in Colorado Springs, STAR (now called U.S. Ice Rink Association) is a non-profit membership organization focused on advancing the ice rink industry through world-class education and training programs.
Kelleher, 46, has been involved in hockey during his entire professional career. He served as the director of hockey for the Wilmette (Ill.) Hockey Association from 1998-2000. Previous to that was the director of hockey for the Twin Rinks Ice Pavillion in Buffalo Grove, Ill., for one season (1997-98), preceded by a one-year stint as the national hockey program coordinator for the Ice Skating Institute in Buffalo Grove.
He also spent time as the hockey director at the Ice Centre of San Jose from 1994-96 and following graduation from Brown University was an assistant hockey coach at the University of Massachusetts-Boston for one season (1993-94).
“Pat’s passion for hockey and his background and knowledge of USA Hockey and the sport overall was readily evident,” said Shelley Looney, a two-time Olympian and member of the executive director search committee. “He’ll do a great job leading USA Hockey.”
Kelleher, a USA Hockey Level 5 certified coach, has been a youth hockey coach for most of the last 25 seasons, including since 2009 with the Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association. He served on the IIHF Facilities Committee from 2002-2010 and was also a member of the board of directors of the OneGoal Association from 2006-12.
A 1992 graduate from Brown University where he was a four-year member of the Bears men’s ice 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.
Kelleher and his wife Allyson reside in Colorado Springs, Colo., and have two daughters, Abbey and Darby, and one son, Matty.
He will officially begin his duties on June 10 and replaces Dave Ogrean, who is retiring from the position.