Blashill Earns Contract Extension
CHN Staff Report
KALAMAZOO, Mich. Western Michigan and coach Jeff Blashill have reached agreement on a contract extension that takes him through 2015-16.
Through incentive adjustments, Blashill’s guaranteed compensation will raise to $275,000 annually with the new deal.
“I am very excited to strengthen my commitment to Western Michigan University and the Bronco Hockey program," Blashill said. "I am equally pleased to see Western Michigan’s commitment to building an elite Division I college hockey program with the support needed to win at the highest level nationally. This contract exhibits both.
"I believe we have attributes to offer our student-athletes and potential recruits that can set us apart nationally. The passion for Bronco Hockey on our campus and in our community is unmatched. I would like to thank President Dunn, Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard, Associate Athletic Director Monty Porter, and all those associated with Bronco Hockey for their belief in me and this program.”
The news comes at a time of some uncertainty over the program's future because of the impending move of three CCHA teams to the Big Ten.
“The successful culture he has developed in his first year as a Bronco hockey coach is contagious, and we are sending a strong message to the Hockey Nation that Western Michigan University is fully engaged securing Coach Blashill as our coaching leader in
this five-year contract," WMU athletic director Kathy Beauregard said. "Coach Blashill is in the development process of inspiring potential recruits and current student-athletes to reach their full potential on the ice, in the classroom as well as growing great young men.
“Our current CCHA membership will be shifting significantly with the current Big Ten members leaving to form their own Big Ten hockey league, beginning 2013-14. It is critical for WMU to demonstrate to the hockey world we are committed to aligning our University with those Institutions within a conference that competes at the highest level of Collegiate Hockey. Coach Blashill’s contract extension sends that message loud and clear. This is a Great Day for all members of our Bronco Family.”
Blashill was CHN co-Coach of the Year this past season, when he led the Broncos to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1996. It was his first year as head coach, after replacing Jim Culhane.
The letter of Intent for amendment of Coach Blashill's contract is effective May 1, 2011 and amends his current contract executed April 26, 2010, executed by the University on Dec 20, 2010 and terminating no later than April 30, 2016. Blashill will receive $175,000, externally funded through fund raising efforts, in base annual salary with an additional $100,000 coming from radio, television and online appearances. His original contract, set to expire at the end of the 2014-15 season will extend to the following season under this amendment. Incentives remain a part of Blashill's financial package, reaching a possible $100,000 in additional income, and are tied to academic and athletic criteria.
“Their success on the ice is well documented, of course, and their work in the classroom is top notch and must be commended as well," university president John Dunn said. "Their engagement with the community has been outstanding, and they’ve reached out in a way that will have a lifelong impact on fans with whom they’ve established some very special relationships . There are many ways to measure success in collegiate athletics and our hockey program epitomizes them all.”