October 26, 2021

Midwest Jr. Blackbird Hockey

United States Premier Hockey League

Midwest Jr. Blackbird Staff


Team Owner: Eileen Butcher

Contact: [email protected]


General Manager: Richard Greene II

Contact: [email protected]

Richard Greene II has been involved with the Northwest Indiana hockey community for over 15 years.
During that time he has been a youth Head and Assistant coach at the travel level. Rich also spent time
as the Director of Learn to Play Hockey for the Midwest Blackbirds youth organization. He has also
served on the Northern Illinois Hockey League (NIHL) and Northwest Hockey League (NWHL) boards in
multiple capacities.

Mr. Greene was the original General Manager of the Chi-Town Shooters, professional hockey team of
the AAHL, which won the league championship in their first season.
He has been a board member of the Illiana High School Hockey League for several years, and currently
serves as league commissioner. In addition to the Illiana League Rich also serves as a member of the
State of Indiana High School Hockey board.

Rich has been a successful scout with the Midwest Blackbirds since 2018. During that time he brought in
and helped to develop several players to higher levels of hockey.

In his current role as General Manager of the Midwest Blackbirds USPHL Premier Team Richard is
focused on creating an environment in which all Blackbirds players will thrive. His singular goal is to help
develop all players, in the organization, to achieve their hockey and academic goals. Whether it be Tier
II junior hockey (or higher), NCAA Division III or ACHA college hockey; Rich is committed to helping all
Blackbird players attain their goals, and works tirelessly to place them in to meaningful positions that
will benefit them in the future.


Head Coach & Player Development: Tom Philbin

Contact: [email protected]

Coach Thomas Philbin Jr. is a native of the Northwest Indiana region and began playing hockey at the age of 5 as a goalie but transitioned to defenseman. He continued his hockey career through the high school level playing for Mt. Carmel High School, Chicago; Northwood Prep School in Lake Placid, New York, and a Tier 1 junior career in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Omaha Lancers.

Highlights from Coach Philbin’s hockey career include winning the International Silver Stick tournament, first line all tournament selection and national league champions.

Philbin was also a multi-year selection to the Chicago Catholic League All-Star team, All State Selection, two-time Kennedy Cup Champion, and an Illinois State Championship. Additionally, Coach Philbin won the John Duran Leadership Award his sophomore year at Mt. Carmel High School.

Coach Philbin returned to his roots with the Midwest Blackbirds while coaching in the Blackbird youth program and winning multiple league and tournament championships. Philbin further advanced his coaching career with the Lake Central Indians.

After Lake Central High School, Coach Philbin made the move to Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), winning the league championship in his first year. He spent his time at FGCU coaching at the ACHA Division 2 and Division 3 levels. While at FGCU the team achieved two automatic bids to national championships due to their rankings, they were #1 in conference each year. During this time Coach Philbin was twice awarded coach of the year, one for League Coach of the Year and one for Conference Coach of the Year.

Notable among Coach Philbin’s achievements was his development of 9 college level hockey players from ACHA Division 3 to ACHA Division 2 play. Most recently Coach Philbin could be found coaching ACHA Division 2 hockey at Penn State University, Pennsylvania. Prior to the Covid shutdown in 2020-21, Philbin coached his Penn State hockey team to a 16-8-2 record.

Coach Philbin is excited to be joining the USPHL Jr. Blackbirds while looking forward to building and developing a team that works hard for each other. As well as a winning attitude to the entire organization.


Assistant Coach: Liam Thrawl

Contact: [email protected]

Liam played youth hockey in the Chicago area starting with the Vernon Hills Ice Dogs Northern Illinois Hockey League (NIHL) program. He then advanced to the Team Illinois Tier I, AAA hockey program where he was a standout player for four years and won a an Illinois Tier 1, AAA State Championship. Thrawl then advanced again to play in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) for the Janesville Jets and Austin Bruins.

Liam graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Majors in Marketing and Organization and Performance. While attending OSU, Liam worked in the athletic department in marketing and other organizational operations. Liam brings with him experience outside of his hockey experiences and education in that he worked in the front office for the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League (NHL).

As as Assistant Hockey Coach Liam looks forward to working with the Jr. Blackbirds and the Blackbirds Youth Hockey programs to give the players the unique perspectives of what it takes to advance to Tier II Junior Hockey, as well as helping players achieve their hockey aspirations of moving into the upper levels of Junior Hockey and Collegiate Hockey.


Team Coordinator: Kara Manojlovich

Contact: [email protected]

It’s always exciting seeing the different personalities shine. Spending time matchjing the players with their “home away from home” is my favorite way to kick off the season!

I am looking forward to meeting the new players and families and watching their development. Each spring we start recruiting, by fall we flyu in the team and we are in full Blackbird swing!

Midwest Blackbirds