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Hockey East Online
November 24, 2009
NCAA Hockey Commissioners Launch New Initiative to Market College Game


Paul Kelly has been named the Executive Director of College Hockey, Inc.
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BOSTON, MA — Paul Kelly, the former Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), has been named the Executive Director of College Hockey, Inc., a new college hockey marketing initiative, it was announced tonight by the nation’s NCAA Division I ice hockey commissioners. The new entity, which will be based in Newton, Mass., will be operated under the auspices of the Hockey Commissioners Association, and serve as the marketing and informational arm for NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey. Kelly will begin his duties immediately.

OTHER LINKS: Paul Kelly Audio (mp3)

“I am very pleased to undertake this exciting new venture,” Kelly said. “It will be a privilege to represent the many fine schools and elite athletes that play hockey on the college level here in the United States. College hockey not only grooms well-rounded future NHL stars, but it is essential to the overall growth of this great sport. I want to thank the Hockey Commissioners for extending me this opportunity to contribute to the outstanding tradition of college hockey. I also want to express my appreciation to USA Hockey for the financial contribution and support that will make this important new venture possible.”

The hiring comes after a lengthy search process initiated by the commissioners over the summer months.

“We are thrilled to welcome Paul to this post,” said Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna on behalf of his peers. “For years, all of us have tried to promote our game while serving our more immediate responsibilities. This will allow the interests of college hockey to be advanced in a more complete and timely manner to the benefit of all.”

The hiring of Kelly, as well as the ability to create the new marketing entity itself, was made possible by resources provided by USA Hockey, through a grant from the National Hockey League.

“College hockey is an important rung of the American Development Model ladder and we couldn’t be more pleased that Paul Kelly has agreed to lead this new initiative,” said Dave Ogrean, Executive Director of USA Hockey. “Working with the college hockey commissioners, the coaches and school administrators across the country, USA Hockey and other constituents, we know Paul will make a positive impact in helping raise the profile of college hockey.”

Prior to joining the NHLPA in 2007, Kelly was a practicing trial attorney for over 25 years. He worked at some of the leading law firms in Boston, including Ropes & Gray and Foley Hoag. He also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston from 1987 to 1996, responsible for the investigation and prosecution of serious federal criminal offenses.

In June 2000, he was a founding partner of Kelly, Libby & Hoopes, P.C., a specialty law firm with expertise in white-collar criminal defense, complex civil litigation, and internal investigations. He remained with the firm until accepting the position with the NHLPA in the fall of 2007.

Kelly received his undergraduate degree from Boston College in 1977 (BA – Sociology) and his law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1980. Following law school he clerked for a federal judge in Michigan for two years, before returning to Boston to practice law.

His involvement in hockey has placed him in a number of roles of prominence, including ongoing service on the Board of Directors of the Hockey Hall of Fame and USA Hockey. He also serves as an advisor to Hockey Canada and the International Ice Hockey Federation.

An amateur player and hockey enthusiast, Kelly coached youth hockey in three different states (Ohio, Michigan and Massachusetts) over several years, and was the varsity hockey coach at Needham (Mass.) High School from 1985 to 1992.

Kelly and his wife, Lee, have four adult children and reside in Needham, Mass.

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