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Jeff Blashill

Head Coach

E-mail: griff@griffinshockey.com

Phone: (616) 774-4585

Biography:

Jeff Blashill’s first two seasons as head coach of the Griffins were among the most successful and memorable in franchise history.

In 2012-13, his first season as a head coach at the pro level, Blashill led the Griffins to the Calder Cup, marking the first championship in the team’s 17 seasons. After winning the Midwest Division title with a 42-26-4-4 record, Grand Rapids defeated Houston (3-2), Toronto (4-2) and Oklahoma City (4-3) to earn its first-ever berth in the Calder Cup Finals. The Griffins then upset a powerful Syracuse squad that entered the finals with an 11-1 playoff mark and boasted 10 players who had won the cup with Norfolk in 2012. Grand Rapids claimed the series’ first three games, as well as all three games played at the Onondaga County War Memorial, en route to a 4-2 finals victory.

Last season, Blashill’s squad led the Midwest Division for most of the year, forged a better record (46-23-2-5) than during its championship campaign and reached the conference semifinals before falling to the regular season and eventual Cup champion Texas Stars in six games. The Griffins achieved this success despite seeing nine of their players make their NHL debuts with Detroit, where they helped the Red Wings extend their remarkable postseason streak to 23 seasons.

The 40-year-old Blashill, who signed a new three-year contract with the Red Wings during the offseason, was named the ninth head coach in Griffins history on June 25, 2012. He served as an assistant coach for the parent club in 2011-12, when he helped Detroit to its 12th consecutive 100-point season and 21st consecutive postseason appearance. Prior to joining the organization, he spent the 2010-11 campaign as the head coach of the CCHA’s Western Michigan Broncos, earning several national coach of the year honors.

Born in Detroit and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Blashill has rapidly ascended hockey’s coaching ladder. He began his head coaching career with the USHL’s Indiana Ice in 2008-09, capturing a franchise-record 39 wins and a Clark Cup championship. He compiled a 72-43-5 mark in two seasons as the Ice’s head coach and general manager before departing for Western Michigan in 2010.

While in Kalamazoo, Blashill led the Broncos to a 19-13-10 record, doubling the team’s win total from the previous season and leading it to its best conference finish (4th) since 1995-96. Additionally, the Broncos played in the CCHA championship game for the first time since 1986 and earned their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1996. Blashill was named a finalist for CCHA Coach of the Year and was named National Coach of the Year by College Hockey News, Inside College Hockey and USCHO.com.

Blashill began his coaching career by spending four seasons (1998-02) as an assistant at Ferris State University, his alma mater. He also spent six seasons (2002-08) with Miami University, helping the CCHA’s RedHawks qualify for the NCAA Tournament four times while recruiting three Hobey Baker Finalists, four CCHA All-Rookie Team members, 11 first or second team All-CCHA players and six All-Americans.

Blashill has also been a member of Team USA’s coaching staff three times: at the 2009 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge, the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2006 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament (U18).

The former goaltender 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.

Blashill and his wife, Erica, live in East Grand Rapids with their three children, Teddy, Josie and Owen.

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Griff's IceHouse at Belknap Park