The NC Golden Bears program began in 2015 as the NC Force. The NC Force was and is one of the few declared for profit youth hockey organizations in USA Hockey. The program was started by Paul Strand as a way of providing quality coaching and travel hockey to U18 and U16 players as they completed their high school.

The options at that time were all encompassing programs that were too costly and time consuming for high school aged athletes who still wanted to enjoy time with family and friends outside of hockey. The other option was the house league which was not competitive enough for many.

In 2018 the NC Golden Bears emerged as a Tier 3 Junior team within the Eastern Hockey League (EHL). The endeavor was short, and due to logistics and costs associated with those logistics, the team folded after two seasons. However, despite the 'failure', the legacy of these two years can be considered a success.

The first "success" is that the NC Golden Bears EHL team proved that with the right coaching and with dedicated and honest hockey people you can move local NC born and raised kids to leagues that will help them achieve their dreams. Despite there being a successful Tier 3 USPHL team in the area for over a decade, very few of those players playing Tier 3 Junior in North Carolina were moved on to Tier 2 Junior hockey, where the vast majority of NCAA Division 1 players come from.

The NC Bears flipped that script in the first season.

In 2019 after one season with the NC Golden Bears EHL team, Devin Phillips was moved to the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey league. After 3 seasons and winning a National Championship with Brooks in Canada, He now attends Holy Cross Division 1 NCAA. He is the first and only player to play Tier 3 Junior Hockey Locally and continue on to play NCAA Division 1 hockey. Devin did the work himself, but the NC Golden Bears are proud of putting Devin in touch with the people who could get him to another leg of hockey journey.

In addition, another local product, Ryan Finch, is currently playing in Kenai River of the NAHL, leading that team to the playoffs and the most wins in franchise history this past season of 2022-23. He also played for the Tier 3 NC Golden Bears and with our help navigated the hockey scene to move towards his goal.

The second success is the creation of the NC Golden Bears AA program. Beginning in 2019-20 with a U16 AA team and growing each season since. In 2022-23 the NC Force Brand was retired for the sake of continuity and all teams were rebranding NC Golden Bears.

In addition, in 2022-23 the NC Golden Bears became a Tier 1 AAA organization and added a U18 AAA program that finished above .500 and was considered very successful for a first year team.

The NC Golden Bears will continue to grow hockey in North Carolina for years to come.

Confirm Delete
Click the delete icon again to confirm. Click escape to cancel.