Friday, July 8, 2011

Blashill to Red Wings

Jeff Blashill with the Ice
in 2009 (linked from
It's taken just two seasons for Jeff Blashill to jump from the USHL to the National Hockey League. 

Blashill, the Indiana Ice coach/GM from 2008-10 who won a championship the first year, has been hired as a Detroit Red Wings assistant coach today. He spent the 2010-11 season at Western Michigan University, where he led the team to its first winning season in nine years and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 15 years. 

In a statement released by Western Michigan, Blashill said “Today is a very emotional day for me. I am extremely excited for the opportunity to pursue a lifelong dream to coach in the NHL with the best organization in sports; the Detroit Red Wings. However, it is with extreme sadness that I step down as head coach of the Western Michigan Bronco hockey team. WMU is an extremely special place with special attributes. I am certain that with the commitment the university is making to hockey, that Bronco hockey will continue on its current path of becoming an elite program nationally. My goal when I became head coach was to bring the program to national prominence and I am totally convinced that will happen very soon, regardless of my leaving.”

Also, check out Graham Couch's coverage in the Kalamazoo Gazette. Blashill had just signed a five-year contract after his first-year success at WMU.

Before entering coaching in 1999 at his alma mater, Ferris State, Blashill also played three years in the USHL for the Des Moines Buccaneers. His coach in Des Moines was Bob Ferguson, who would later coach the Indianapolis Ice in the IHL.

While with the Ice, Blashill coached NHL draft picks Anthony Bitetto, Nic Dowd, Nick Mattson, Blake Coleman, Brian Ferlin, Stanislav Galiev, Mike Cichy, Brent Gwidt and Brett Bennett.

You can also link to a 2009 Q&A with Blashill on

Jeff Blashill's coaching resume: 
2011-12: Detroit Red Wings (NHL) assistant coach to Mike Babcock
2010-11: Western Michigan University (NCAA) 19-13-10 (1st winning season since 2002, first NCAA Tournament since 1996).
2010-11: Indiana Ice (USHL) 33-24-3 (advanced to 2nd round of playoffs, playoff record 4-5)
2009-10: Indiana Ice (USHL) 39-19-2 (Won Clark Cup, playoff record 9-4)
2002-08: Miamia University (NCAA) assistant coach to Enrico Blasi (four NCAA apperances)
1999-2002: Ferris State University (NCAA) assistant coach to Bob Daniels
1994-1998: Player at Ferris State University (NCAA)
1991-1994: Player for Des Moines Buccaneeers (USHL)

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