Like many youth hockey volunteers, Dennis Green’s first leadership role came when his oldest son, Tait, registered for Mites. Green had spent a couple of years as an assistant coach prior to serving in the United State Navy and enjoyed the game of hockey, but when he was first introduced to the administrative side of hockey, he had no idea he would spend the next 40+ years serving the game in various capacities.
Green spent that first season as the mite coordinator for the Elk River Youth Hockey board of directors before transitioning into roles overseeing the association’s house leagues and travel teams for 11 seasons. In addition to serving on the board, Green helped coach various teams and led weekly goalie clinics. He also served as the association’s representative to District 10 of Minnesota Hockey (formerly MAHA) for four years.
In 1989, Green was elected onto District 10’s Board of Directors as the Assistant District Director, and the following year he was elected District 10’s District Director.
While serving as District Director for District 10, Green was a founding member of the Junior Gold “Metro League” and was appointed the chairman of the Junior Gold Committee. Today, the Junior Gold High School Hockey League hosts over 70 teams of high school age players.
Green quickly earned the trust and respect of his fellow Minnesota Hockey board members during his time as a District Director, receiving Minnesota Hockey President’s Awards in 1992 and 1994. In 1996, he was elected Vice President of the Maroon Region and appointed the age class director for the Minnkota Select 17 program. The next year he was elected as a District Director to USA Hockey, where he has held numerous roles over the past 23 years.
The Minnesota Hockey Board of Directors elected Green as president in 2002, the same year he was appointed to USA Hockey’s Youth Council. During his time as president, Green helped overhaul Minnesota Hockey’s accounting system by developing a new set of financial policies designed to enhance transparency and stability for the organization. He also worked to build and launch the Hockey Education Program, which at the time was a groundbreaking program focused on providing a positive athletic experience for youth hockey players by integrating a progressive approach to skill development with coaching excellence and accountability through Fair Play.
Following his time as president, Green served nine years as past president, offering a steadying voice of wisdom and experience during a time of significant transition for Minnesota Hockey. Green was elected Director Emeritus as soon as he was eligible and continues to be actively involved.
Green has also been an instrumental voice on a national level and was recognized for his contributions to with a USA Hockey President’s Award in 2010. He was a driving force in helping Minnesota become a standalone district within USA Hockey and has spent time on numerous committees and special task forces reviewing significant topics such as the USA Hockey SafeSport program, the Tier I classification and adding a Flex Hockey classification. Green continues to serve as a USA Hockey Director Emeritus on Youth Council and the Playing Rules Committee.
Minnesota Hockey has long been viewed as a leader on the ice, and Green’s dedication and leadership has played a key role in developing the organization’s national reputation as a leader off the ice as well.
Thank you, Dennis, for your years of selfless service and driving passion to provide the best possible hockey experience to every kid in Minnesota and across the country!
The prestigious Don Clark Award is presented by Minnesota Hockey to an individual who over a period of many years has been dedicated to the grassroots growth and development of youth hockey in Minnesota. For a list of previous recipients, click here.