With nearly five decades of experience that included roles in virtually every area of the organization, Tony Rossi ranks among the premier architects of USA Hockey. His vision, dedication, acumen and energy have been instrumental in the ascent of American hockey. Under his watch, the U.S. became a consistent force on the international scene, earning the country’s first-ever gold medal in the World Junior Championship in 2004 and becoming a regular in medal games at all levels of competition. The IIHF took notice of Rossi’s significant contributions in 2008, naming him to the 14-member IIHF Council and re-electing him in 2012. It all started for Rossi in Chicago, where he launched a grassroots hockey program for kids. He went on to play a leading role in transforming the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois into one of the country’s strongest affiliates. In the years to follow, Illinois became a flourishing talent incubator, with hundreds of players advancing to the junior and college hockey ranks. It’s in no small part a testament to Rossi’s efforts and leadership that 10 Illinois natives skated in the NHL this past season. Rossi began serving on the national level in 1983 when he was elected to the USA Hockey board of directors as a Central District representative. In 1989, he expanded his efforts and enjoyed a two-term stay as USA Hockey secretary. Rossi then transitioned to the treasurer’s role in 1996, a position he held until 2003. Next, he was elected vice president and chair of USA Hockey’s International Council where he brought his passion and savvy to assist in guiding efforts related to U.S. National Teams. His immeasurable works drew recognition from the NHL and USA Hockey in 2011, when he was presented with the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the U.S.
The USA Hockey Builders Award honors an individual who has made lasting contributions to the long-term growth and success of USA Hockey.