Ted Nolan was born into a large family on the Garden River First Nation in northern Ontario in 1958...
The 3rd youngest of twelve children, in a house lacking electricity and plumbing. Ted learned resilience from his parents Stan and Rose. From his mother, he received pride in his heritage and that helped him become the strong man that he is today. He also learned to follow his dreams, no matter how big or small. Today, Ted believes that pride, strength and a willingness to dream are the cornerstones of success.
Ted grew up playing minor hockey in Sault Ste. Marie and left home at the age of 16 to play junior hockey in Kenora, Ontario. The following year he played for his hometown SSM Greyhounds of the OHL and in 1978 was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. He also went on to play for the Pittsburgh Penguins and after a serious back injury was forced to retire at the age of 26.
Ted began his coaching with the Greyhounds that helped launched his coaching career. He took his team to 3 straight Memorial Cup appearances, eventually winning the Memorial Cup Championship in 1993. In 1994, Ted moved on to the professional ranks as an assistant coach with the Hartford Whalers and in 1995 was named the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. The following season Ted took his team to a 1st first place finish in the Northeast Division and was named NHL Coach of the Year.
Ted would also go on to coach the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL and lead them to the league championship in 2007. He returned to the NHL to coach the New York Islanders and in 2014 he lead the Lativan Men's National Ice Hockey Team to the 2014 Sochi Olympics and losing to Team Canada in the quarterfinals.
Ted started the Ted Nolan Foundation to honour his late mother Rose, with the help of some dear friends in 2004. He subsequently established the Rose Nolan Memorial Scholarship. The Foundation raised nearly 2 million dollars and awarded scholarships to over 130 First Nation woman across Canada. Since that time the Foundation has transitioned with remaining funds transferred to a number of colleges, training institutes and universities. They continue to grant Rose Nolan Scholarships for years to come.
Over the years, Ted has received honorary degrees from Laurentian University, Cape Breton University, Algoma University and most recently St. Thomas University.
Ted is currently employed by the Chiefs of Ontario, as political advisor to Regional Chief Glen Hare. He is also the co-founder and president of 3Nolans. Together with his sons, Brandon and Jordan, 3|Nolans are active operating hockey schools in First Nation communities. Ted is also a coveted speaker, sharing his story with Indigenous communities, corporate Canada and other organizations.
Ted's book "Life in Two Worlds" was published in Oct 2023 and is a Canadian Best Seller. In his memoir, Ted chronicles his journey from Garden River First Nation to the highest ranks of professional hockey.
Today, Ted and Sandra have been married over 43 years and have been blessed with five grandchildren.