Officially established after gaining formal approval from USA Hockey in December 2014, the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League recently hired Mike Gempeler as the league’s first commissioner. Gempeler brings a wealth of knowledge and connections to the new six-team league. “Mike is a homerun hire,” stated RMJHL President Shaun Hathaway. “His experience and commitment to advancing players align with the RMJHL mission, and his leadership and passion strengthens our ability to achieve our established goals.”
Gempeler is the founder and president of the US Junior Development Program and the CCM Hockey showcase. The USJDP is one of the top Junior Development programs in the U.S. for Bantam, Midget and Junior players. The CCM Showcase annually features over 400 players from over 10 different countries, and is scouted by over 125 college and junior coaches. “Having spent 15 years helping place players across the country in the various junior leagues via the USJDP Junior Prep Camp and CCM Hockey Showcase, I know there are a lot of talented players in Colorado,” Gempeler explains. “It only seems fitting that we create a well-run, well coached Junior A league right in their backyard.”
Along with his extensive entrepreneurial experience creating and growing sport-based companies, Gempeler has a solid understanding of the game at the grass roots level. He has helped coach professional and junior hockey in Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, and Finland. He founded Rocky Mountain Hockey Schools in 1996, and from 1999-2002 he served as the Denver University Video Coach. Gempeler played four years of college hockey at Gustavus Adolphus College in MN.
As the commissioner, Gempeler will manage the daily RMJHL business including handling all scheduling, marketing, and disciplinary issues. RMJHL Vice President Angelo Ricci was quick to endorse the recent addition. “Mike brings a ton of experience and knowledge He has the expertise not only on the hockey side but on the business side of things. He will quickly help develop and expand the branding and marketing of the RMJHL.”
For more information about the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League, visit RMJHL.com.