Program announces 2023-24 head coaches
March 8, 2023
The Ohio AAA Blue Jackets have announced its head coaching lineup for the 2023-24 season. The boys coaching lineup includes the additions of Josef Boumedienne and Dan Cousineau as head coaches, while Michael Darr will lead the program's first ever 12U girls team.
"We are very honored to once again have such a highly accomplished staff in place for next season." said President Ed Gingher. "The strength of our program has always been in the people. This is high character group of leaders that is committed to the every day process of development and is focused on teaching and challenging our players to reach their potential both on and off the ice."
18U (2005/06) Head Coach - Darryl Noren
Darryl Noren returns for his fourth season as a bench boss in the organization and third as 18U head coach. In his first season, Noren led the 18U squad to a Mid-Am district championship and the quarterfinals in the national tournament.
Prior to joining the program, Noren served as the head coach and general manager of the USPHL's Columbus Mavericks in 2019-20. He also spent five seasons coaching professionally, including time as an assistant coach in the ECHL with the Pensacola Ice Pilots and head coach and assistant general manager of the St. Pete Parrots in the SPHL.
As a player, Noren's impressive resume includes more than 700 professional games played. He ranks 3rd all-time on the ECHL's scoring list with 685 points and was elected to the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2010. In 1996, he helped lead the Charlotte Checkers to a playoff championship. He was inducted into the Charlotte Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008. Noren played his college hockey at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was a 2-sport athlete (hockey and baseball). He was 1st team all-conference in baseball and 2nd team all-CCHA in hockey. Noren also helped lead the USHL's Rochester Mustangs to a Junior A national championship in 1987. He was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1990 NHL supplemental draft.
Joining Noren's staff as an assistant coach will be Fedor Tyutin. A veteran of almost 900 NHL games and three Olympics Games, Tyutin served as the head coach of the program's 2007 age group the past three seasons.
16U Boys (2007) Head Coach - Pat Cannone
Pat Cannone enters his second season as a head coach at the 16U level and third season overall in the program. He also serves as the program's director of player development and advancement where he spends significant time working as a skills coach with all ages groups in the program and as an individual video coach for our national bound teams.
Pat's distinguished playing career included 10 professional seasons highlighted by making his NHL debut with the Minnesota Wild in 2016-17. He was team captain for the AHL's Chicago Wolves and spent two seasons playing professionally in Germany.
A native of Bayport, New York, Cannone played his college hockey at Miami University where he tallied 133 career points, served as captain and helped lead the team to 2 Frozen Fours, 2 league championships and 4 NCAA Tournaments during his 4-year career.
Longtime OBJ coach Jesse Predhomme will once again serve as an assistant coach on our 16U staff.
16U Girls (2007/08) & 14U Girls (2009/10) Head Coach - Kerry Bowman
Kerry Bowman enters his second season as our program's girls hockey director and has played a integral role in the program's expansion to three teams in 2023-24. Next season, he will serve as the head coach of both the 14U and 16U girls teams. An accomplished player, teacher and coach with a well-rounded resume, Bowman came to Columbus after coaching the Washington Pride in the Junior Women's Hockey League (JWHL) at the 19U and 16U levels from 2018-20.
Prior to his time in Washington, DC, Bowman served as a head coach for the AAA Sun County Panthers in the Ontario Hockey Federation from 2011-17 where he coached the 12U-15U levels. During this time, he also worked full-time as an educator, teaching French as a second language to students in grades 3-8. He has also served as a lead instructor with the CAN/AM Hockey group since 2001.
As a player, Bowman played Division I hockey at Mercyhurst College where he helped lead the Lakers to the Atlantic Hockey championship and NCAA Tournament in 2005. A two-time Atlantic Hockey Scholar Athlete, Kerry was the recipient of the Bill Smith Memorial Senior Award and served as team captain in 2008. Upon graduating with a bachelors degree in sports medicine, he went on to play two seasons professionally with the IHL's Port Huron Icehawks.
Bowman's assistant coaching staff will include girls hockey ambassador and PWPHA professional Emily Curlett, as well as OBJ alumni and veteran coaches Joey Parizek and Emma Titus.
15O (2008) Head Coach - Kyle Althen
Kyle Althen enters his third season as a head coach in the program and second with the 2008 age group after leading them to a successful season in 2022-23. Prior to being a head coach, Althen served time as an assistant coach at the 15O level. He has also worked as the hockey director at the Battery Hockey Academy for the past 5 years.
Prior to moving to Columbus, Althen spent two seasons as the associate head coach and director of scouting for the Oswego Stampede (NA3HL). He also served as a scout for the Amarillo Bulls in the NAHL.
A native of Cleveland, OH, Kyle played college hockey at the University of Akron (ACHA) where he was team president for all four seasons. Althen's junior career was spent with the Wooster Oilers and Central Wisconsin Saints of the GLJHL. In his final season, he captained the Oilers and tallied 63 points in 41 games. He played his high school hockey at Padua Franciscan in Parma.
14U (2009) Boys Head Coach - Josef Boumedienne
Josef Boumedienne enters his first season as head coach in the program after spending the past two years as an assistant and skills coach on multiple teams. Hired by the Blue Jackets in 2013, Boumedienne is also CBJ's director of pro scouting and the assistant general manager of Sweden's national team. In 2021, Boumedienne coached Brynas in the Swedish Elite Hockey League.
Prior to coaching, Josef's accomplished playing career included more than 800 games of pro experience in the NHL, AHL, KHL and Swedish and Finnish pro leagues. A 4th round pick of the New Jersey Devils, Boumedienne was an all-star defenseman in the AHL and Finland's Liiga. He helped lead Karpat to championships in both 2005 and 2007. He also played for Sweden in two World Junior Championships and captained his country at the 18U world championships.
Joining Boumedienne's staff will be Jeff Green, who has spent the past several seasons as assistant coach at the program's 18U level. Green was a 4-year standout and assistant captain at Western Michigan from 1986-1990 where he tallied 109 goals and 234 points in 159 career games with the Broncos. He also played two professional seasons with the ECHL's Toledo Storm and Dayton Bombers, as well as a season in Germany.
13U (2010) Head Coach - James Nash
James Nash enters in his eighth season coaching in the program and fifth as a head coach. This will be Nash's third consecutive season as head coach at the 13U level. In all, he has 10 years of coaching experience and has spent considerable time as a professional skills coach working with elite players of all ages.
A native of Brampton, Ontario, Nash grew up playing AAA hockey in Toronto for the Mississauga Rebels of the GTHL (formerly MTHL). He also won an all-Ontario championship with the Brampton Maroons. Nash went on to play his junior hockey for the Mississauga Chargers (OPJHL) and college hockey for Humber College.
12U Girls (2011/12) Head Coach - Michael Darr
Michael Darr enters his first season as a head coach in the program and will lead our first ever 12U girls team. Darr has 17 years of coaching experience and has played an integral role in the growth of girls hockey since 2017. He has spent the past six seasons helping lead Central Ohio Girls Hockey where he helped develop the organization from beginner developmental programs to elite training camps during the spring and summer months. Furthermore, he helped the EYHA Lady Dragons program expand from one team to six teams at the 8U, 10U select, 12U select, 12U elite and 14U tier 2 levels. While with the Lady Dragons, he was a head coach or assistant coach and helped lead the team's progression of player development.
Joining Darr's staff will be Marty Laroche. Laroche has spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach for the EYHA Lady Dragons at the 10U and 12U levels. Previously, he spent 4 seasons as a head coach of our boys 16U teams. In 2008-09, he was the head coach of the first ever OBJ team to advance to the national tournament when he led the 16U team that included Sean Kuraly and Connor Murphy to a district championship. He has also spent the past 12 years as a board member for our program. As a player, Laroche was a captain and four-year standout at Merrimack College and played professionally with the ECHL's Baton Rouge Kingfish and Columbus Chill.
2011 Head Coach - Dan Cousineau
Dan Cousineau enters his 11th year coaching in the program and third season with the 2011 year after spending the past two seasons as an assistant coach. His prior head coaching experience includes six years with the AAA Blue Jackets at the 14U level and two years with the Columbus Capitals at 18U. Dan has also served on the Columbus Amateur Hockey Association board and as the organizations travel hockey director for the last 4 years. Additionally, he has served as an assistant coach for the Easton Lady Dragons during his 20 years of hockey coaching.
A native of Waterloo, ON, Canada, Dan played 4 years of varsity hockey at Ohio State and graduated with a degree in Marketing. Following his college career, Cousineau played five years of professional hockey with the Columbus Chill, Indianapolis Ice, and San Diego Gulls.
2012 Head Coach - Todd Ehrie
Todd Ehrie returns for his 15th season coaching in the program. With 30 years of coaching experience, he has been an integral part of the growth of our program and the entire Columbus hockey market. This past season, he coached our 12U team to a successful season including a run in the prestigious Quebec International PeeWee Tournament.
In 2014, he led the 2001 birth year to the Quebec PeeWee Tournament championship. He also coached the 1997 team that included Jack Roslovic, Kole Sherwood and Carson Meyer for several years. He has also spent time as an assistant coach at the 15O, 16U and 18U levels and was the head coach of the 2006 team at the 15O level.
Joining Ehrie's staff will be Clay Thomas. Thomas enters his 12th year coaching in the program after spending the past three seasons as head coach of our 2010 and 2011 age groups. A native of Westerville, OH, Clay wore the OBJ jersey for four seasons with our 14U, 16U and 18U teams from 2007-2011. Following his AAA career, Thomas played his junior hockey with the Texas Tornado (NAHL) where he was a member of the national championship team in 2011-12. A valedictorian at Westerville South, Clay began his coaching career during his freshman year at Ohio State.
2013 Head Coach - Dale Jordan
Dale Jordan enters his 18th season with the program and will once again serve as head coach at the 10U level. As the program's hockey director, Dale assists with the oversight of the administrative aspect of the program and is responsible for managing teams in the 10U-13U age groups.
Dale has over 20 years of coaching experience at all different levels and has been a head coach in our program since 2007. Prior to joining the AAA Blue Jackets, he served as the varsity coach at St. Charles High School for 5 seasons from 2002-2006. During that time he also was a head coach for multiple bantam and pee wee AA travel teams at CCYHA. Jordan also spends time as a private hockey instructor and helps manage the program's camps, clinics and on-ice skills training sessions.
We are fortunate to have a deep pool of assistant coaches for the 2023-24 season. More assistant coaching assignments will be announced at a later date. If you are interested in applying to serve as an assistant coach, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ohio AAA Blue Jackets program prides itself on being the premier youth hockey program in Ohio. With an every day mission to develop our student-athletes to reach their potential on and off of the ice, the program aims to provide a healthy and safe environment for the elite player to grow as a player, person and teammate through the great game of hockey.