Bob Hooper 2024

Bob Hooper

From 1996 to 2009 Bob Hooper served as commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Jr. A Hockey League, the precursor to the Ontario Junior Hockey League.  After selling his successful Etobicoke import/export meat business, Hooper became OPJAHL commissioner. He was the only league boss in Canada who didn't receive a salary— explaining to Metroland Media in 2006 that he never wanted it to be a full-time job, even though he was occupied with hockey business daily for nine months a year.  Hooper was the recipient of the Ontario Hockey Association’s prestigious Gold Stick Award in 2010 and the Georgetown Hockey Heritage Award in 2007. He was recognized by the Ontario Hockey Federation in 2002 with its inaugural Junior Hockey Award, presented to an administrator who has had a hand as a builder and promoter of the sport.  The native of Glen Williams, a Georgetown-area hamlet, Hooper played and coached – from the age of 19 – youth hockey in Georgetown. He moved on to be an executive member of local junior, senior and intermediate-level clubs. He was president of the Georgetown Intermediate A Raiders team that won the Hardy Cup in 1982.  Hooper helped co-ordinate Georgetown’s hosting of the Dudley Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A championship tournament in 2005.   A treasurer or president for nearly 20 years with Georgetown hockey teams, Hooper authorized expenses for the community-run clubs and presided over a volunteer executive that consisted of up to 60 people in its peak years. His people skills and ability to assign tasks to those volunteers from behind the scenes while keeping an elite-level franchise from ever going into debt was a big reason that the Raiders were named the Ontario Hockey Association’s Team of the Decade for the 1970s.  Serving as club president and treasurer in Georgetown prepared him well for the Jr. A commissioner’s job, he said.  Now 85, Hooper helped expand the struggling Central Jr. B loop from 10 franchises into what was the 35-team, $7-million-per-year OJHL in 2006.  “Bob was great at getting people to do the hard work that generated revenue for the team because it was difficult to find them, and when you found those people, he was able to keep them motivated and sold the greater cause of the team,” said Finn Poulstrup. “One of his qualities as a leader was that he led by example. He didn’t expect anyone to do anything he wouldn’t, but he definitely expected you to do whatever job you were assigned. He just knows how to manage people.”