BETHLEHEM, PA [July 28, 2020] – USA Hockey and its Atlantic District awarded Christopher “Gump” Whiteside the 2020 Bob O’Connor Award for Excellence in Coaching Education. The award is given each year to a member of the volunteer coaching staff of USA Hockey’s coaching education program. The announcement was made earlier this month at the annual meeting of the Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association.
The award, given annually, recognizes a member of the District’s coaching education staff for their years of service and contributions to excellence in coaching education. The award is named for long-time volunteer Bob “OC” O’Connor, who passed in 2015 and had been the USA Hockey National Coach in Chief, an assistant coach for the 1984 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, and the 1991 and 1992 U.S. National Junior Teams that competed in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships. The USA Hockey coaches learning resources center and national library, containing thousands of references and research theses, is named for O’Connor.
Gump Whiteside, of Erdenheim, PA, has made lasting contributions to long term coach development. Throughout the years, Whiteside has been engaged coaching youth hockey at all levels and continues to be widely involved in high school hockey, coaching at Holy Ghost Prep in Bensalem, PA. Whiteside serves as coach and team leader in USA Hockey’s Selection Camps and as National Camp Director for the Youth Player Development Program. In 2012, Whiteside was named to the U.S. coaching staff for the U18 International Ivan Hlinka Memorial Ice Hockey Tournament.
Whiteside was named Associate Coach in Chief for the Atlantic District – a position he has held since 2003. Under a program sponsored by the U.S. Center for Coaching Excellence, Whiteside has been instrumental in training staff as Coach Developers while providing leadership to the Coaching Education Program as USA Hockey launched an entirely virtual certification process due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Mike Lichtenberger, USA Hockey’s Coach in Chief, says this about Whiteside: “Gump is known as a difference maker in youth hockey and is well respected throughout the Atlantic District by their 5,000+ coaches in 300+ local organization. It is an honor to know Gump Whiteside and to work alongside a professional. Gump continues to make a profound impact on the sport he loves.”
About USA Hockey
USA Hockey provides the foundation for the sport of ice hockey in America, helps young people become leaders, and connects the game at every level while promoting a lifelong love of the sport. Founded in 1937, USA Hockey is the National Governing Body for the sport of Ice Hockey, is a member of the International ice Hockey Federation and the United States Olympic Committee.