Skip To Nav

Site-specific menu

Share |

Blashill is college hockey's national coach of the year

by Adam Bodnar

April 3, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU hockey coach Jeff Blashill.
Bronco Coach Jeff Blashill
KALAMAZOO--Jeff Blashill, first-year head coach of the Western Michigan University hockey team, has been named national coach of the year by two of the sport's leading publications.

Inside College Hockey announced Friday its pick of Blashill as National Coach of the Year. Four days earlier, he was named National Co-Coach of the Year by College Hockey News, sharing the honor with Merrimack College's Mark Dennehy.

Blashill led a rejuvenated Bronco hockey team to a 19-13-10 record, a fourth-place finish in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, an appearance in the CCHA Tournament championship game and the program's fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Inheriting a program that finished last in the CCHA one year ago, Blashill led WMU to a 10-9-9 conference record and its first top-four CCHA finish since the 1995-96 season. Blashill then guided the Broncos to a playoff series win over Ferris State and a trip to the CCHA semifinals for the first time since 1993.

The Broncos went on to defeat regular-season champion Michigan, 5-2, in the semifinals for the program's first trip to the CCHA Tournament championship game since 1986. WMU fell to Miami in the championship game, but earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.

A former assistant coach at Miami University, Blashill came to WMU after two years as head coach of the Indiana Ice of the USHL.

Related article
Broncos best season in 15 years ends in double overtime