New Canada Inline President
RICHMOND HILL, ONTARIO, CANADA
Feb. 15, 2016
After 20 years Richard Ropchan has decided to step down as the President of Canada Inline and Coach of the Men’s National Team.
"I feel it is time to allow someone else with more time and energy to lead the National Team Program in Canada which competes annually in the FIRS World Inline Hockey Championships and other events such as the World Games. This is a very difficult decision for me because I have been very blessed and rewarded over the years with many memorable experiences that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Most important to me have always been the players and bench staff that I have had the opportunity and pleasure to coach and work with over the years. I have always tried to lead by example and instill good values and hopefully I have been able to make a positive influence on your lives. I trust that these same values will continue with the new leadership that takes over. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for your loyalty to myself and your commitment to Canada Inline.
What I always wanted was to find someone who exemplified the same values, work ethic and leadership that we tried to bring to Canada Inline over the past twenty years. We also felt it was important that this person had some business experience and resources available to him. Most important, I wanted to find someone who was involved over the years with Canada Inline and would have the best interests at heart of all the players, coaches and referees that have been loyal to Canada Inline. We believe we have found that person in Ben Frank. Ben has agreed to take over as President of Canada Inline effective immediately. He is very familiar with all or most of our players over the years and is very eager to get started. I am completely confident in Ben’s ability and that he possesses the work ethic and leadership skills needed to help grow the sport and lead the National Team programs in Canada.
In Ben’s words…
“I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead Canada inline into the future. Richard Ropchan has been a coach, mentor, and friend for over 15 years and I would like to thank him for his more than 20 years of selfless dedication to the great sport of inline hockey in Canada. Richard has laid a great foundation and tradition as a world power and it is deeply meaningful to me to live up to that tradition and build upon it for many years to come.
Many of my best memories and experiences come from my years with Canada inline and all of the amazing teammates and staff I have met. I feel a tremendous responsibility and gratitude to all of the current and past representatives of Canada Inline and I look forward to reconnecting with all of you in the coming days and together moving into the future. I am incredibly excited to get to work right away and work with all of you as we continue on and build upon the tradition of excellence of Canada inline”.
Ben grew up in Toronto Ontario, Canada playing ice and inline hockey. After Captaining the Toronto Tigers to an Inline Hockey Junior A championship and playing in Pro inline events, Ben had the opportunity to fulfill a dream of representing team Canada under coach Richard Ropchan in the Pan American Games qualifier in Columbia in 2002. After winning a silver medal in Columbia, Ben went on to represent Team Canada 7 more times including winning a gold medal in 2002, bronze in 2003, silver in 2003 Pan American games, bronze in 2007, silver in 2013 and a world games appearance also in 2013. Additionally Ben served as assistant coach of the senior women's team in Anaheim 2013 winning a silver medal.
After playing ice hockey for 4 years at the University of Toronto from 2000-2004 and receiving a bachelor's degree in physical health and education, Ben left Windsor university in 2005 where he was studying a master's in sport management to take a position as hockey director at the Anaheim inline hockey club in California. Ben continued to play pro and international inline hockey as he ran all of the youth inline hockey programs and club teams at Anaheim Hockey Club. In 2011 Ben took over as president of the Anaheim Wildcats Ice Hockey Club and by 2016 had grown the club from 7 teams to 18, playing out of 3 locations and featuring two hockey specific off-ice training facilities, an international tournament series with 8 events per year, and feeder programs for young players learning and wanting to try hockey. The Wildcats were recognized as a USA Hockey Model Association in 2014, one of only 17 at the time in the entire nation and are a proud partner of the Positive Coaching Alliance committed to creating "Better Athletes, Better People". Ben resides in Lake Forest, CA with his wife Joyce (VP of operations for Wildcats Hockey Club), and his daughters Rylie (4), and Harper (1). Ben regularly returns to his home in Toronto to visit his parents Diane and Harry (long time fans of Canada Inline) and is excited to return home more often fulfilling his new duties with Canada Inline.