Ron DeGregorio has helped shape American hockey for more than 40 years as one the most prominent volunteers in the history of USA Hockey and has conceived programs that have resulted in acclaim from around the world.
While DeGregorio’s ingenuity is evident in many areas, perhaps his most significant concept was starting USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in 1996. A lightning rod for criticism when it was established, the NTDP has evolved into a revered program that has significantly enhanced elite player development and U.S. success in international competition.
DeGregorio currently serves as co-chair of the USA Hockey Board of Directors following his retirement as president of USA Hockey in June 2015 after a 12-year span. His influence was instrumental in the establishment of USA Hockey’s American Development Model, which was launched in 2009 and has been widely acclaimed, including today being used as the basis for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s athlete development program. Among other signature programs, DeGregorio also championed the implementation of USA Hockey SafeSport as well as USA Hockey’s Progressive Checking Skill Development Program. His leadership is also evident in the insurance and risk management arenas and in use of technology, including the push to online player registration and online education modules in coaching and officiating education.
His first appointment with USA Hockey came in 1973 when he was named registrar for the New England District where he oversaw the reorganization of the district into several smaller, more manageable affiliates and appointed associate registrars to help increase USA Hockey’s efficiency and visibility at the local level. DeGregorio was first elected to the USA Hockey Board of Directors in 1975 and was the organization’s first vice president of youth hockey. In the 1980s, he served as treasurer of USA Hockey. In 1995, he was elected as a vice president and the international council chairperson, positions he held until being named president.
A former Middlebury (Vt.) College goaltender, DeGregorio is known throughout Massachusetts as the originator of the “Mini One-on-One,” a youth hockey competition that is broadcast through the Boston Bruins’ television network.
DeGregorio, who is a former co-owner of the AHL’s Kentucky Thoroughblades, was distinguished with the National Hockey League’s Lester Patrick Trophy in 2002 in recognition of his outstanding service to ice hockey in the United States.