On Tuesday, Andy Johnson of SBNation’s Bucky’s Fifth Quarter first reported that former Ohio State head coach Mark Osiecki will join the Rockford IceHogs as an assistant coach this season. The Blackhawks did not to renew the contracts of IceHogs assistant coaches Steve Poapst and Ben Simon.
Osiecki had spent three years at Ohio State, leading the Buckeyes as high as the #2 ranking in the country during the 2011-12 season. He was let go in a surprising move in mid-April.
Before serving as the head coach at Ohio State, Osiecki was an assistant at the University of Wisconsin for six seasons (2004-10) and served as the head coach of the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers for seven seasons (1997-2004). This will be Osiecki’s first pro coaching job.
During his time at Wisconsin, he worked with future NHL players including Joe Pavelski, Kyle Turris, Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Davis Drewiske, Brian Elliott, Tom Gilbert, Jamie McBain, Blake Geoffrion, Brendan Smith and Jake Gardiner. Future Blackhawks Adam Burish, Jake Dowell and Jack Skille also played at Wisconsin while Osiecki was coaching in Madison.