TJ's Story

TJ's Playin' Days

TJ’s life ended tragically on June 23rd 2010 following complications from an autoimmune disease, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP) at the age of 37. TJ was born June 22, 1973 and played hockey from the time he was 5 years old and living in Ames, IA. He continued after the family moved to Sioux City, playing for the Sioux City Metros high school team and various select elite teams throughout the Midwest. TJ went on to play for the United States Hockey League's Sioux City Musketeers Jr. A team and the Iowa State Cyclones, winning two national championships.

Rewards of Coaching

TJ chose to give back to youth hockey by coaching for a total of 15 years in his hometown of Sioux City, IA,  Sioux Falls, SD and in San Diego, CA. All of the coaching that he did was on a volunteer basis and achieving his level 5 coaches certification through USA Hockey. He coached youth teams well before having a family of his own and enjoyed being a mentor to the young players, as well as helping parents better the youth hockey program their son's and daughter's participated in. TJ participated in the South Dakota State Amateur Hockey Association and served as the assistant coach for the National U-14 team, and was currently working with the U-16 team for 2011 as their head coach.

Strengthening Youth Hockey

He served on the Sioux Falls Youth Hockey Association Board of Directors and was recognized as the "Director of Coaches." He also coached the Sioux Falls Flyers in their "inaugural" year representing the Midwest High School Hockey League where they finished the year as the only team in Midwest history to be represented in the State Tournament in their "inaugural" year. All TJ wanted to do was pass along his knowledge, love and passion for the game of hockey to the next generation. He said that he would rather have players who didn’t have talent over those who were gifted in the game, those kids had more heart and would try so much harder to succeed. This is what TJ had done all of his life was to work harder and achieve success. He proved that through coaching and his family life.