Saturday, April 24, 2010

Osiecki Takes Head Coaching Job At Ohio State

Wisconsin took it's first huge hit off the off season (with respect to Kevin Patrick) on Saturday afternoon when it was announced that top Wisconsin Assistant Coach Mark Osiecki would be taking over the head coaching duties at The Ohio State University. Osiecki replaces John Markell, who's contract wasn't renewed.

Coach Osiecki has been apart of the Badger hockey program for the last six seasons. He is the recruiting coordinator and in charge of coaching our world renowned defensive core. Osiecki was a part of two Frozen Four teams while at Wisconsin including one National Championship team in 2006. Osiecki also won a National Championship as an assistant coach at North Dakota in 1997. Osiecki has head coaching experience, as he was the head coach and General Manager for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL for seven seasons.

As a player, Osiecki won a National Championship with Wisconsin in 1990. He was a three year letter winner with the Badgers before taking his game to the National Hockey League. Osiecki spent six seasons in the NHL with four teams before an injury ended his career.

Osiecki also has experience internationally. The 1994 graduate from the University of Wisconsin was an assistant with Team USA at the 1999 and 2000 World U18 Championships where the United States won silver medals. Osiecki also recently won a gold medal with the USA U-20 squad at the World Junior Championships in Regina.

The loss of Osiecki puts the Badgers in an unusual situation, as now they need to replace both assistant coaches. Last month it was announced that the other Badgers assistant coach, Kevin Patrick would be taking the head coaching job with the new expansion USHL franchise in Muskegon, MI.

As a Wisconsin hockey fan, the loss of Mark Osiecki scares the hell out of me. We all knew that this day would come eventually but I don't think any of us prepped ourselves enough for this. Coach Osiecki is THE top assistant coach in the country and it's going to be extremely tough to fill his shoes. He was a the point where his name alone was good enough to land elite defensive recruits who wanted to learn from him.

I would personally like to congratulate coach OZ and like to thank him for his time in Madison. He's been absolutely OUTSTANDING since he's been on our coaching staff. He will be tough to replace.