Hockey (Mid)Night in Kentucky

by Joel Cormier
June 2021, 262 pages,
ISBN 978-0-89641-610-9
$24.95 (includes shipping)

book cover

In 2012 Dr. Joel Cormier arrived at Eastern Kentucky University. He rediscovered his passion for coaching ice hockey taking on club hockey at EKU while going on an epic journey of lifelong coaching.

Hockey (Mid)night in Kentucky serves both as a memoire and as a coaching guide for anyone looking to explore the theoretical and practical aspects of coaching. Deriving from Bolman and Deal’s multi-frame leadership model that Cormier covered in his doctoral dissertation, the book applies structural, human resources, and cultural and political frames of leadership to coaching. Besides its focus on leadership, peak performance and recruiting. Cormier explores issues concerning work-life balance and the overall model that is intercollegiate athletics in its many forms.

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Hockey (Mid)Night in Kentucky also chronicles Cormier’s seasons with the team giving behind-the-scenes look at some of the ups and downs and ebbs and flows of coaching hockey in this very unique structure and culture. Throughout the book, readers are presented with a story of how this adventure of coaching hockey in Kentucky (of all places) leads to many new lessons in life.

The book is divided into five sections: Preseason, Early Season, Mid Season, Playoffs and Postseason, and the Off Season. There are two chapters in each section and each chapter concludes with a review, discussion questions and suggested readings.



  • Chapter 1—Introduction
    Where was it? Where does it really start? The Eternal Battle, Hello Kentucky, Coach Joel Review, Dr. Cormier Discussion Questions, Suggested Readings

  • Chapter 2—Leadership
    Born Leaders, Task and Relationship, Ability and Willingness, Different Types of Athletes, From Transaction to Transformation, Multi-frame Leadership. Coach Joel Review, Dr. Cormier Discussion, Suggested Readings


  • Chapter 3 —Structural Base
    Legal Issues of a Coach, Preparing to Play, 5Ps of Practice Planning, Emergency Action Plan, Goal Setting, Goal Setting Theory, SMART Goal Setting, Team Goal Setting, Team Rules, Coach Joel Review, Dr. Cormier Discussion, Suggested Readings

  • Chapter 4—Human Factor
    Athletic Outcome, Goal Orientation, Athletes Satisfaction, Team Cohesion, Academic Success, Recruit Quality, Closing a Chapter, Coach Joel Review, Dr. Cormier Discussion, Suggested Readings


  • Chapter 5—The Politial Game
    Stakeholder Theory, Faculty (Joining Academia, Navigating the MUltiple Roles), Administration, Alumni, Parents, Referees, League, Team Officials, Team Politics, Team Captains, Staff, Conflict Management, Coach Joel Review, Dr. Cormer Discussion, Suggested Readings

  • Chapter 6—Winning Culture
    Developing Commitment, Counter Culture, Creating Culture, Mascots, Coach Joel Review, Dr. Cormier Discussion, Suggested Readings


  • Chapter 7—Peak Performance
    Peak Performance Starts in Pre-Season, Ideal Performance State, Review of Flow, Optimal Arousal, Making History, Building Spuccess, Coach Joel Review, Dr. Cormier Discussion, Suggested Readings

  • Chapter 8—Recruiting Through Branding
    Branding, Ticket Sales, Marketing Escalator, Community Relations, Applying the "Pro-Llegiate" Model, Being Honest, Fundraising, Coach Joel Review, Dr. Cormier Discussion, Suggested Readings


  • Chapter 9—Work Life Balance
    Approaching Burnout, Getting the Coaching Job (Gain Expertise, Gain Certifications, Gain Experience, Network), Informational Interview (The Interview, Thank-You Notes), Burnout in the Job Search, Making It a Career, Burnout Battle, Leaving the Coaching Job, Balance Restored, Coach Joael Review, Dr. Cormier Discussion, Suggested Readings

  • Chapter 10—Putting It All Together
    Yearly Planning, From Team to Program, Be the Town Mayor, Recruit, Find the Spark, "Facilities ... Build 'em!, Schedule Smart, The Changing Prollegiate Model, Evaluation, Closing, No Final Victories, Coach Joel review, Dr. Cormier Discussion, Suggested Readings





Dr. Joel Cormier, teaches sport management at Eastern Kentucky University in the department of Exercise and Sport Science where he also teaches a class in the Foundations of Coaching. He has been coaching EKU’s Club Hockey team since 2013 as a volunteer proudly serving EKU. He lives in Lexington with his wife Lindsay, daughter Nicole, and their two Shih Tzus, Marcus and Mason. He can be found on twitter via @jacormierphd.