It is our mission to create a world-class culture of champions: in the classroom, in the community, in the weight room, and on the ice.

As an organization, we are actutely aware that it is our duty to ensure that every young man who enters our program is given the guidance and resources to maximize his potential in each of those four areas. Everyone within the organization realizes that not all players will go on to secure lucrative professional hockey careers, and therefore does everything in our power to ensure that those who do not advance to the NHL or other pro leagues leave the team with a well-rounded education to fall back on.

The goal of developing solid hockey players on the ice and young men off the ice is something everyone strives to follow year-in and year-out.

Our hockey club has one of the most efficient and successful educational programs in the Ontario Hockey League.  Led by Jerry Bumbacco, who has run the program for the past 26 years, the team is extremely proud of its 99% graduation rate while here in the Soo.

Mr. Bumbacco is a former teacher within the city’s high school system and is extremely passionate about both education and hockey.  He makes himself accessible to the players at all times should they need help with some of the courses they are enrolled in, or advice on selecting a post-secondary stream of study.  Jerry co-ordinates the player’s selection of classes and works out any issues with the player’s schools in their hometown in regards to transferring credits to and from the Soo along with communicating the player’s progress towards their high school diploma.

In the spring of 2011, the club’s new regime put new academic standards in place to ensure that each athlete is pushed to expand his potential in the class room at high school, university, or college level. Every athlete who enters our program will maintain a full load of high school courses, while all students at the post-secondary level (University or College) are required to take a MINIMUM of TWO courses per semester. All academic costs – tuition, books, fees – incurred while an active member of the hockey club are paid for in FULL by the organization.

For American players, our club has worked with players from Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and various other States within the OHL jurisdiction. With each player our staff has ensured that all measures are taken to ensure that the player graduates high school on time and without issue. Whether it means paying for the player to remain in Sault Ste. Marie a few weeks after the season or ensuring a seamless transfer of courses back to the player’s home school following the season, no player will have his academic progress delayed by playing for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Our new academic program, combined with the tremendous efforts of Superior Heights High School, St. Mary’s College, Algoma University, and Sault College have propelled our athletes to have unprecedented success academically.

It is safe to say, that if your family strongly values academics (as most do), that your son will be pushed to achieve his absolute potential academically as a Greyhound.  



All high school-aged players will attend the brand-new Superior Heights Collegiate and Vocational School.
As Sault Ste. Marie’s newest secondary school, one of the key focuses of Superior Heights is its Sports Specialty focus and facilities that will accommodate not just an athlete, but someone who may have an interest in Sports Medicine, Health/Fitness and the sports training related fields.

When combining these focuses with the traditional courses and modern technology and accessible services, Superior Heights should provide and exciting and worthwhile to all players.

One thing that you can be sure will remain unchanged with a new facility is the manner in which the faculty works with all players.  The teachers and staff at the high school are very receptive of the player’s needs and are more than happy to go out of their way to deal with any issues or concerns the players may have.  Superior Heights is a semestered high school and at the conclusion of the hockey season the school, together with Mr. Bumbacco, work very closely with the player’s home schools to ensure that they can complete any credits that were started in Sault Ste. Marie, upon returning home.


A myth about the City of Sault Ste. Marie is that it lacks any form of post-secondary institutions.  That notion could not be any further from the truth as the city is home to both Sault College and Algoma University.  Both institutions are fully operational, and comprehensive institutions, which can meet most of, if not all post secondary needs of the players who complete their high school diploma.  The Soo Greyhounds encourage all players who have completed their high school diploma to enrol in post-secondary studies and the organization will pay for any and all credits completed while they are members of the team and as long as the credits are completed successfully.  Mr. Bumbacco has also worked very hard to co-ordinate correspondence and online courses with other post-secondary institutions throughout Ontario.  As a result of that endeavour the players have the ability to enrol at a post-secondary institution that offers correspondence or online courses in Ontario.


As the number of American players in the Ontario Hockey League increases, the Soo Greyhounds have been able to gain valuable knowledge and experience in co-ordinating a player’s transition from the American School System into the Canadian school system.  Mr. Bumbacco has worked with many high schools in the United States and his track record indicates that those players coming to the hockey club from the United States will have no issues and will complete their studies in the same fashion that they would have in the U.S.

If you have any questions regarding Education and the Greyhounds please feel free to contact Educational Co-Ordinator Jerry Bumbacco via e-mail at

Did you know?

Former Soo Greyhound goaltender Jake McCracken was awarded the OHL’s Bobby Smith Trophy for the league’s Scholastic Player of the Year in 1998.  A third round selection (84th overall) by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, McCracken fell back on his education and has successfully moved on to a career as a pharmacist right here in Sault Ste. Marie