DETROIT – Former Ferris State University ice hockey player and assistant coach Jeff
Blashill, a 1998 graduate, has accepted an assistant coaching position with the Detroit
Red Wings of the National Hockey League.
The Red Wings, which made an official announcement Friday (July 8), will welcome both Blashill and Bill Peters as new assistants on head coach Mike Babcock's coaching staff. Blashill, who completed his first season as head coach at Western Michigan University during the 2010-11 campaign, played at Ferris from 1994 to 1998 and later served as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs from 1998 to 2001.
“Today is a very emotional day for me,” Blashill said. “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. 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.”
At Ferris, Blashill compiled a 27-36-5 career mark as a goaltender while registering a 3.89 goals-against average and a .865 saves percentage in 78 appearances. Born in Detroit and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Blashill was chosen 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. He went on to serve as a volunteer assistant coach for the Bulldogs in the 1998-99 season and spent the next two seasons (1999-00 and 2000-01) in an assistant coach capacity with the program.
In his only season at Western Michigan, Blashill coached the Broncos to a 19-13-10 overall record which also featured a CCHA championship appearance and the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth since 1996. As a result, Blashill was recognized as the national coach of the year by U.S. College Hockey Online, Inside College Hockey.com and College Hockey News along with being a finalist for the CCHA Coach of the Year.
Before his arrival to Western Michigan, Blashill was the head coach and general manager of the United States Hockey League's Indiana Ice for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 campaigns. Under his direction, the Ice were crowned the USHL Clark Cup champions in 2008-09 and produced a 39-19-2 overall mark as the season victories total matched a franchise record.
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. He also has been a member of Team USA's coaching staff on three occasions – at the 2009 World Junior 'A' Challenge, the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championships and the 2006 Under-18 Junior World Cup.
Blashill graduated from Ferris in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in finance. His wife, Erica also is a Ferris State alumnus. Blashill's younger brother, Tim Blashill, is the varsity head coach of the Big Rapids High School boy's ice hockey team and also serves as a pro shop/program coordinator at Ferris State.
"We’re all very proud of Jeff’s accomplishments," said Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels. "I know Jeff wanted to be a NHL coach someday and now he's been afforded this tremendous opportunity to be associated with a class organization in the Detroit Red Wings. I'm confident he will do just a good as job as he has done in his previous coaching positions at Western Michigan, Miami (Ohio), and Ferris State.”
Jeff Blashill's Career at a Glance
- Led WMU to a 19-13-10 (10-9-9, CCHA) record in first season.
- Named National Coach of the Year by College Hockey News, USCHO.com and Inside College Hockey (2010-11).
- Led WMU to CCHA Championship game appearance, the program's first since 1986 (2011).
- Led WMU to a NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996 (2011).
- Finalist for CCHA Coach of the Year (2011).
- 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)