Thomas Orr is a professor of Sport Management at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Orr had served as the department head for Health, Physical Education, and Coaching (HPE) since 2014 and as the professor for Sport Marketing and Administration since 2011.
At Northern State University, he was a visiting professor for Indiana University and a research associate for the Center on Sport Policy and Conduct. He has had extensive experience as a player, official, supervisor, coach, and sport administrator in numerous sports. Orr was the assistant intramural director for the University of North Dakota athletic department, where he also completed his BA in history with minors in recreation and leisure services, economics, and athletic coaching.
As a hockey player, he competed in the Canadian Junior Hockey League before playing college hockey for the Hoosiers. After playing several seasons for Indiana, he joined the coaching staff as an assistant coach and helped lead the team to a national title game. After being selected as a coach for the ACHA Division 1 all-star game in only his second season as head coach and fifth season coaching for the cream and crimson, Dr. Orr moved to Northern to join the faculty as a tenure-track professor and coach the youth teams of his five children. His accomplishments were highlighted when awarded the Society for Health and Physical Educators South Dakota Professor of the Year award in 2018.
Coach Orr is a director for Pro Ambitions hockey and leads several Midwest youth camps for the Boston Bruins. He has experience coaching for two high school hockey teams and the 24-time North Dakota state champion Grand Forks Central Knights. More recently, he has been a volunteer coach for Jamestown, North Dakota, and Aberdeen, South Dakota, Youth Hockey teams as a USA Hockey Level 5 coach.
He has also spent six consecutive summers accruing over two years of total experience working as a correctional officer in the North Dakota State Prison, where he observed a wide variety of violence, often related to inmates’ leisure time. Dr. Orr has established his own company, HockeyPhD, with the intention of improving the sport of hockey by sharing smart solutions with others by using his expertise related to youth development and coaching.