Jeff Blashill Named Western Michigan Head Hockey Coach
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Western Michigan University and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics have announced the hiring of Indiana Ice head coach and general manager Jeff Blashill as the new men’s ice hockey head coach. Blashill becomes the fifth head coach in the program’s 37-year history.
“We are happy to announce Jeff Blashill as the fifth head coach of the Western Michigan University men’s ice hockey program. When we set out to find our next head coach, we wanted a candidate with experience as a head coach, one that has had success at multiple levels and someone that has the drive and blueprint to take this program to championship levels with national prominence,” commented director of athletics Kathy Beauregard. “Coach Blashill embodies each and every one of these qualities.”
Blashill comes to Western Michigan after serving as the head coach and general manager of the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League, the top juniors league in the United States. Under his tutelage, the Ice won the “Clark Cup” in his first season as head coach and are currently set to begin the defense of their title in the USHL Playoffs. In his championship season, Blashill led the Ice to a 39-19-2 record, tying a program mark for wins. In two seasons with Blashill at the helm, and on the eve of the first round of the USHL playoffs, the Ice are 72-43-5. Several of Blashill’s players at Indiana have signed letters of intent to play college hockey or are currently playing at the college level.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to lead the Western Michigan Bronco Hockey team and build upon the foundation laid by so many Bronco Alums,” said Blashill “I’d like to thank President Dunn, Kathy Beauregard, the athletic staff and those who were a part of this process, for the trust they’ve placed in me and for allowing me the opportunity and challenge of pursuing, with passion and integrity, championship level ice hockey at Western Michigan. I also owe a great deal of thanks to Indiana Ice owners Paul and Cindy Skjodt for the opportunity to lead the Ice the past two seasons.”
Before his stop in Indianapolis, Blashill helped construct the Miami RedHawks hockey program into a national power, assisting head coach Enrico Blassi for six seasons. During his time as an assistant, the RedHawks went to the NCAA Tournament four times, including the Elite Eight during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. Blashill recruits excelled at Miami with three of them being named Hobey Baker Finalists, four making the CCHA All-Rookie Team, 11 named first or second team All-CCHA, two of them competing in the World Junior Championships and six of them being honored as All-Americans. Under Blashill the RedHawks penalty-kill unit ranked in the top 10 in the nation from 2004 to 2008, including tops in the nation during 2008. Blashill also had a role in recruiting and developing many players on the Miami 2008-09 NCAA Finalist team and the 2005-06 CCHA Championship team.
Blashill also spent four years as an assistant coach at Ferris State, his alma matter. At FSU he played a major role in recruiting and developing the 2002-03 CCHA Championship team.
“While I very much look forward to arriving in Kalamazoo to get our work started, my immediate focus remains with the Indiana Ice as we begin our defense of the USHL Playoff Championship, the Clark Cup,” added Blashill.
In accordance with NCAA rules (by-law 126.96.36.199.1 contract for future employment) Blashill will not begin his coaching duties (e.g., recruiting, selection of coaching staff, etc.) for Western Michigan until the Indiana Ice have been eliminated from the USHL playoffs and his association with the organization officially comes to an end.
A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Blashill played goalie for Ferris State University from 1994-98. As a student athlete he was selected as FSU’s Rookie of the Year for the 1994-95 season. He was named to the CCHA All-Academic Team during the 1996-97 season. Blashill earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Ferris State in 1998 and was honored three-straight years with the FSU President’s Award for having the team’s highest GPA.
Blashill and his wife, Erica, have two kids, Teddy and Josie.
TRANSACTION: Western Michigan University hires Jeff Blashill as its new head men’s ice hockey coach.
The Blashill File
- Head coach and general manager of the USHL's Indiana Ice.
- 72-43-5 record in two season.
- Won the "Clark Cup" as league champion on his first season as head coach
- Six seasons as assistant coach with the Miami University RedHawks.
- Won a CCHA Championship with Miami during the 2005-06 team
- Recruited three Hobey Baker Finalists, four CCHA All-Rookie Team members, 11 first or second team All-CCHA members, six All-Americans, two World Junior Championship participants.
- Was part of four NCAA Tournament teams while at Miami, including the 2006-07 and 2007-08 Elite Eight teams.
- Played a major role in recruiting and developing the Miami 2009 NCAA Finalist team.
- Four seasons as assistant coach at Ferris State.
- Played a major role in recruiting and developing the 2002-03 Ferris State CCHA Championship team.
- Assistant coach of the World Junior A Challenge Team; Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada (2009)
- Assistant coach of the World Junior Team; IIHF World Junior Tournament, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (2009)
- Assistant coach U-18 team; Ivan Hlinka Memorial World Championships, Czech Republic (2006)
- Head coach Team Michigan; U-17 & U-18 National Festival (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005)