Rohlik Named OSU Head Coach
Had Been Interim Since Osiecki's Dismissal
CHN Staff Report
COLUMBUS, Ohio Steve Rohlik has been named head coach at Ohio State. The move was made official today, after CHN first reported it Tuesday night.
Rohlik had been the associate head coach the last three years under Mark Osiecki. Osiecki was fired last week, and Rohlik was named interim coach at the time. Osiecki, who was head coach for three seasons, was let go, according to athletic director Gene Smith, because "there was a difference of opinion over the management of the program that could not be resolved." Osiecki, however, told CHN that he was shocked by the dismissal and there was never a prior discussion with Smith about problems with the management of the program.
Meanwhile, Rohlik, a 1990 graduate of Wisconsin who has spent 16 years coaching in Division I, gets his first head coaching job under those unusual circumstances, as the Buckeyes transition into the new Big Ten Hockey Conference. During his career, he has recruited and/or coached two Hobey Baker Award winners, 12 All-Americans and 18 players who have reached the NHL.
“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to become the next coach at Ohio State,” Rohlik said in a statement. “I want to thank Gene Smith, Chris Schneider and the administration for giving me this chance. I look forward to leading this program into the Big Ten.”
Said Smith, “We are pleased Steve has accepted our head coaching position,” Smith said. “He has made positive impressions within the athletics department, in the hockey community and with the men’s hockey student-athletes. He has a well thought-out plan for how to lead our hockey program into the future that is in line with the expectations we have for each of our head coaches.”
Rohlik was previously an assistant coach at Minnesota-Duluth (10 seasons) and Nebraska-Omaha (3). He takes over a team that he helped get to the CCHA semifinals last season.
“Steve has been an integral part of the hockey program and its recent success on the ice, in the community and in the classroom,” Chris Schneider, senior associate athletics director for sport administration, said. “He has earned the respect of those in and around the program. We are excited to have him directing the squad as we begin play in the Big Ten.”
Following graduation from Wisconsin, Rohlik spent one year on the coaching staff of the Badgers. He then served as the head coach at Hill-Murray High School, his alma mater, from 1993-97, after spending a year as an assistant coach at Stillwater High School (1991-92).
A native of St. Paul, Minn., Rohlik was a captain for the Badgers in both 1989 and 1990. He was a senior on the squad that won the NCAA title, as well as the WCHA regular-season and tournament crowns, and was named the WCHA Tournament MVP that season. The team qualified for the NCAA tournament each of his last three seasons and also captured the 1988 conference playoff championship. Rohlik skated in 166 games for Wisconsin, scoring 34 goals and adding 47 assists for 81 points, and received the team’s Fenton Kelsey, Jr. Most Competitive Player honor in 1990. He was an eighth-round selection by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft (No. 151 overall).