Jon Cooper is regarded as one of the best coaches in the NHL. In just 8 full seasons as an NHL head coach, he led his team to 6 playoff appearances, 4 conference finals, and 2 Stanley Cup Finals, including a Stanley Cup victories in the 2019-2020 season as well as the 2020-2021 season. On his journey from lawyer, to NHL coach, to philanthropist, Jon Cooper has taken pride in creating powerful bonds between people. These experiences have made him into an expert in team development, exemplified in his business-oriented motivational speeches.
Jon never sought a career playing hockey, opting to study at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, MI. After law school, Cooper served as a public defender for 11 years before beginning his professional coaching career at the junior level as an assistant coach for the Capital Centre Pride of the North American Hockey League. He then became head coach of the Metro Jets of the CSHL, leading the team to the Silver Cup (the USA Hockey National Junior B Championship) during the 2001-02 season.
Following his season with the Jets, Cooper returned to the NAHL to coach the St. Louis Bandits—then the Texarkana Bandits— winning NAHL Coach of the Year two times during his 5 seasons with the team. Jon then moved to the United States Hockey League as head coach of the Green Bay Gamblers in 2008 for two seasons, winning the league championship in 2010.
After the 2010 season, Cooper was hired to coach the AHL affiliate team of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Norfolk Admirals. In his second season, the team won the Calder Cup as the AHL’s champions and Cooper won the 2012 Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award, the AHL’s Coach of the Year. He finally got his big NHL break in 2013, when he was named the eighth head coach in franchise history for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and his time there has been nothing short of incredible. Since his hiring, he has led the Lightning to the playoffs in all but 2 seasons, beat the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup Finals last season, and in 2018, he became the winningest head coach in Lightning franchise history. In addition to the NHL, Cooper also has also coached on an international level multiple times, both as an assistant coach with Team North America in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, and as a head coach with Canada’s Men’s National Ice Hockey Team for the the 2017 IIHF World Championships.
Cooper’s legendary career with the Lightning shows his ability to lead and coach a team to the highest level of success. Adding in 11 years of law experience, Jon knows how to translate what it takes to succeed in the NHL into success in the workplace and uses his array of experience to empower his audiences. His personal stories, ties to his community, and profound success at the professional level combine to make Jon an excellent motivational speaker.
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