Ferris State Hockey Alum & NHL Head Coach Jeff Blashill To Coach 2017 U.S. National Team

Ferris State Hockey Alum & NHL Head Coach Jeff Blashill To Coach 2017 U.S. National Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Ferris State University men's ice hockey alum Jeff Blashill, who recently completed his second season as head coach of the National Hockey League's (NHL) Detroit Red Wings, has been named head coach of the 2017 U.S. Men's National Team that will compete in the upcoming IIHF Men's World Championship. The event is set for May 5-21 in Cologne, Germany, and Paris, France.

"We're extremely pleased to have Jeff lead our men's national team at the world championship," said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey and part of the U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group. "He's been successful at every step of his career and we know our team will be well prepared when the puck drops."

Blashill will be making his debut as head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team. He has previously been involved with U.S. teams in international competition as goatlending coach for the 2009 U.S. National Junior Team at the IIHF World Junior Championship and as assistant coach for both the U.S. Junior Select Team at the 2009 World Junior A Challenge and the U.S. National Under-18 Select Team at the 2006 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. 

Before joining Detroit, Blashill for three seasons (2012-15) was the head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings' AHL affiliate. He led the club to three of the most successful years in franchise history, highlighted by a 2012-13 campaign that ended with the first Calder Cup championship in the 17-year history of the franchise.

Blashill, who was born in Detroit but grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., won the Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL's most outstanding coach in 2013-14 and was named head coach for the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic. He is the only coach in Griffins history to qualify for the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, leading the team to 92 points or better each year. 

Blashill joined the Red Wings' organization after one season as the head coach at Western Michigan University in 2010-11, where he doubled the Broncos win total from the previous season and led the school to its first appearance in the CCHA championship game since 1986.  

He began his coaching career as an assistant coach for his alma mater, Ferris State University. After four seasons (1998-02) with the Bulldogs, he spent six campaigns in the same role with Miami University where he helped the RedHawks reach the NCAA tournament four times.

Blashill, a goaltender in his playing days, made his head coaching debut with the United States Hockey League's Indiana Ice, compiling a 72-43-5 mark as head coach and general manager from 2008-10. He guided the Ice to a franchise-record 39 wins in 2008-09 and Clark Cup title as playoff champions of the USHL. 

During his collegiate career, the Bulldog alum spent four seasons between the pipes for Ferris State, earning the Bulldogs' Rookie of the Year award in 1994-95 and a spot on the CCHA's All-Academic Team for 1996-97. He also garnered the Ferris State University President's Award for three straight years for having the highest grade point average on the Bulldogs. 

Several former Ferris State standouts have previously been involved in international competition, including recently defenseman Zach Redmond, who competed for the U.S. at the 2015 World Championships. FSU alum and three-time Stanley Cup Champion Chris Kunitz of the Pittsburgh Penguins won a gold medal playing for Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

For the complete Team USA schedule, visit this link:
http://teamusa.usahockey.com/news_article/show/780186?referrer_id=695820