The Business of Hockey: Adam Blossey
Hometown: White Bear Lake, Minn.
Position: Director of Men’s Hockey Operations, Sun Devil Athletics / Arizona State University
Arizona Rubber: You coached with ASU’s ACHA program over the past few seasons. How did the opportunity to shift roles to the new NCAA program come about?
Adam Blossey: It’s something that definitely took some time to come into formation. Coach Greg Powers expressed right away when it happened that he wanted me to continue to be a part of it, but in what capacity he was unsure of. He had a lot to put in order as far as the coaching staff. So when he was talking about it and saying he wanted me to be a part of it, it was, “Hey, this may be the best fit.”
AZR: Describe your role with the NCAA program. How does it differ from what you were doing before?
AB: Because of compliance rules, I do nothing on the ice – so no coaching at all. My role is really to support everything the team needs get everything right. In a general sense, I’m the liaison between our Sun Devil hockey team and the Sun Devil athletics administration. A big part of the summer has been on-boarding the 33 players we have coming in. Because this is the first year of the NCAA program, there’s a lot that the kids who were coming over from the ACHA program didn’t have to do before.
I also work with our travel department to coordinate where we’re flying in and out of, where we’re staying, where we’re having our meals. The purpose is so the coach doesn’t have to worry about it.
AZR: What have been some of the most interesting parts of the job so far?
AB: Bringing the video software on has been fun. Helping guide that will be a much bigger part of my role during the regular season. We will be getting our camps up and going for Sun Devil Hockey Academy. We did one in July (1995-2000 birth years), but we’re going to have many more in spring and summer of next year. Learning about scholarships and cost of attendance has been interesting.
AZR: Now that you’re not wearing a whistle, how do you think it will feel being away from the bench once the games start?
AB: I still play men’s league. As far as not being on the ice for practice and on the bench, it’s nothing that’s going to be an issue. There’s a lot I can be doing from an operations standpoint during practice and helping the coaching staff prepare.
AZR: What was your major in college? Did that prepare you for this?
AB: Business and finance. I was a controller for a chemical manufacturer before taking this role, so it was very financially-oriented, working with vendors, paying vendors.
Now, our equipment manager is an ex-NHL guy, he’s just awesome, so making sure he has what he needs. As a team, we now have to manage inventory, and take care of new aspects like that that we didn’t necessarily do before.
AZR: In addition to your time as an assistant coach, you’re one of ASU’s most decorated ACHA players, too. How does the legacy of those involved with the ACHA program carry over to the NCAA team?
AB: It’s a testament to the general managers and coaches over the past 30 years with the club program that, when times weren’t that good, stuck it out and kept believing in it. Obviously Coach Powers coming into play was a huge movement and change in the culture – not that the culture was bad before – but he was able to recruit and bring in kids that were able to elevate the program into the top one or two teams in the country. It really is about recognizing all of those people – the general managers and coaches who all put their own time and money into this to keep it alive.
— Compiled by Brett Fera