COACHING SINCE: 1990 | HOMETOWN: BERKELEY, CA | LANGUAGES SPOKEN: ENGLISH
Jami "JJ" James is a SafeSport certified, level 5 USA Hockey Coach
and holds modules at the Mite, Squirt, Bantam, and Midget levels.
Additionally, JJ is certified by the Positive Coaching Alliance. He
holds the title of District Sports Director and is a certified coach with
the AAU. JJ has had over 37 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 its hockey players a new opportunity
to develop a unique style. Tahoe Hockey Academy's
original Founder and Head Varsity Hockey Coach. JJ was
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.
As a youth, JJ attended Minnesota Hockey Camps, 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 hockey systems and strategies, many of which he incorporates into his coaching today. After youth hockey, JJ had to choose between opportunities to play junior hockey or going to college. Pursuing hockey as his primary goal, he decided on 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 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, and AAA to professional players. He specializes in player development through 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 has guided his focus on developing Montana's first-ever residential summer camp and Prep School.
JJ resides in Columbia Falls with his wife Joy, son Landon, daughter Lavena, and their Siberian Huskies, Crosby, Oshie, and Price. JJ's hobbies and interests include physical fitness, scuba diving, skiing, 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.