Jami "JJ" James
HEAD OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT
COACHING SINCE: 1990 | HOMETOWN: BERKELEY, CA | LANGUAGES SPOKEN: ENGLISH
Jami “JJ” James is a SafeSport certified, level 4 USA Hockey Coach
and holds modules at the Mite, Squirt, Bantam, and Midget levels.
Additionally, JJ is certified with the Positive Coaching Alliance. He
holds the title of District Sports Director and certified coach with
the AAU. JJ has had over 35 years of playing, directing and
coaching experience. He coaches Mite, Squirt, Pee Wee, Bantam,
Midget, High School, Junior, collegiate and professional level
JJ came to Montana to bring it's hockey players a new opportunity
to develop in a whole new style. Tahoe Hockey Academy’s
original Founder and Head Varsity Hockey Coach. JJ was the
responsible for bringing the first residential hockey program to
the West Coast. Born and raised in Berkeley, located in the Bay
Area region of California. JJ grew up playing hockey for various
travel teams in the California Area. He was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to play with travel teams from around the country.
JJ attended Minnesota Hockey Camps as a youth, which fueled his lifelong passion for hockey and his dream of playing hockey professionally. While advancing through the youth hockey ranks, JJ had the privilege of playing for many experienced coaches who instilled his core hockey values: discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship. He was also taught various, different hockey systems and strategies, many of which he incorporates into his coaching today. After youth hockey, JJ had to choose between opportunities playing junior hockey or going to college. Pursuing hockey as his primary goal, he chose junior hockey. JJ “walked on” to play at Minot State Bottineau, where he met his linemate and friend, Dustin Penner. JJ would go on to play at Castleton State College in Vermont, where he was recruited by the UHL’s Elmira Jackals. A groin injury sidelined JJ as he bounced around with several UHL teams before settling in with the Huntsville Havoc in the SPHL. He also played a season with the Sun Valley Idaho Suns, an amateur, semi-professional team and eventually ended his playing career with the ECHL’s San Francisco Bulls. As his pro playing career wound down.
JJ began to think about other avenues in hockey and career paths he could pursue. He had earned a Degree in Early Childhood Psychology with a concentration in sports psychology (at Castleton) and has always had a way of working with young people. He personal S.P.A.R.Q. Trainer. Coupling these skills with abundant hockey knowledge seemed a logical choice. During his lifelong involvement in the hockey community, JJ has gained attention from various players, parents, and organizations who recognize his knowledge, insight, and passion for the game. He has coached Mite through Adult, working with Beginner, A, AA, AAA through to professional players. He specializes in player development through his work with team, camp, individual and group training. JJ is the founder of California's first prep school for hockey players, Tahoe Hockey Academy, located in South Lake Tahoe, California. He moved to Whitefish, Montana in November of 2016 and now has guided his focus to developing Montana's first-ever residential summer camp and Prep School.
JJ currently resides in Columbia Falls with his wife Joy, son Landon, daughter Lavena, and their Siberian Huskies, Crosby, Oshie, and Price. JJs hobbies and interests include physical fitness, scuba diving, boating, traveling, snowmobiling and rafting. He enjoys educating himself and passing along his knowledge to young people and highly values time spent with family and friends.