April 7, 2010

Former Bulldog Hockey Player And Assistant Coach To Direct Western Michigan Program

The Ferris State University men's ice hockey program now has another alumnus in the collegiate hockey head coaching ranks as former Bulldog goaltender and assistant coach Jeff Blashill has been named Western Michigan University's new head men's ice hockey head coach.

Blashill will arrive to Western Michigan after serving the past two seasons (2008-09 and 2009-10) as the head coach and general manager of the United States Hockey League's (USHL) Indiana Ice, which is one of the nation's top juniors leagues.  Under his tutelage, Blashill guided the Ice to the Clark Cup as USHL champions in 2008-09 and a 39-19-2 record as the season victories tied a franchise record.  

Blashill, who played at Ferris State from 1994-98, also served as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs from 1998-2001 with the initial 1998-99 campaign as a volunteer assistant.  As a player, Blashill finished his career with a 27-36-5 career mark while registering a 3.89 goals-against average and an .865 saves percentage in 78 appearances.  He currently ranks seventh among Ferris State's all-time goaltenders in both games played and minutes played (4.024) while being listed ninth in saves, tied for 10th in victories, and 11th in goals-against average. The Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., native was selected as FSU's Rookie of the Year Award recipient for the 1994-95 season and was named to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's (CCHA) All-Academic Team in the 1996-97 campaign. 

"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 WMU Director of Athletics Kathy Beauregard.  "Coach Blashill embodies each and every one of these qualities." 

Prior to his stint at Indiana, Blashill spent six seasons (2002-08) at Miami University as a member of head coach Enrico Blasi's staff.  In those six seasons, the RedHawks made four NCAA Tournament appearances which featured a pair of Elite Eight trips in the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.

Blashill and his wife, Erica (Williams), have two children, Teddy and Josie.  He graduated from Ferris State in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in finance.  His wife, Erica is also a Ferris State alumn.  Blashill's younger brother, Tim Blashill, is presently the varsity head coach of the Big Rapids (Mich.) High School boy's ice hockey team and also serves as a pro shop/program coordinator at Ferris State.

Blashill joins another former Ferris State netminder, Seth Appert (1992-96), to serve as a current head coach in the college ranks.  Appert recently completed his fourth season as head coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). 

Please visit this link for the official Western Michigan release:
http://www.wmubroncos.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=4600&ATCLID=204923671

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