Ron DeGregorio will step down as president of USA Hockey after 12 years and four terms on Saturday with a legacy of excellence as one of the architects of the United States National Team Development Program.
Founded in 1996, the USNTDP is a two-year residency program for the top 16 and 17-year-old players in the United States. DeGregorio's vision was to build teams that can compete with the big boys of the world. Winning Olympic gold twice in 20 years (1960, 1980) wasn't enough. DeGregorio's mission was turning a miracle into a model.
"We wanted to have a program of excellence that set standards and something that people would have to compete against in terms of the most high-performance players to attract them," DeGregorio said. "I believe right now it's not a miracle when we win. Frankly it's a great disappointment when we don't win gold, let alone participate and contend very well. Our goal is to [win the gold medal] each and every tournament now. That's the perspective that I think is it a bit changed since the last two decades."