Jeff Blashill becomes the ninth head coach in Grand Rapids Griffins history.
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) Jeff Blashill's coaching career has taken more twists and turns than most. Blashill, 38, was introduced Thursday morning as the new head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins after one year on the Detroit Red Wings' bench as an assistant. The job will be the fifth different position Blashill has held in the last six years.
"When you leave a job quickly," Blashill told WZZM, "you don't necessarily leave your full mark. But as opportunities arrive, this is the coaching life at times. I don't go into any job thinking, 'What's my next job?' I go into jobs thinking, 'How can I do the best job possible?' And I'm excited to do the best job I can here."
Blashill's track record is a good one. In 2011, he was the national coach of the year guiding Western Michigan University to the NCAA Tournament. That came after two winning seasons with Indiana in the United States Hockey League. Prior to that, he served as an assistant at his alma mater, Ferris State for three years and at Miami (Ohio) for six years. "Every place I've ever coached with the exception of the Red Wings, people wanted to move to the next level. It was extremely important to them. And so a promise I've always made was, we're going to work fully on your development and at the same time we're going to focus high on winning. We want to win championships and we want to develop our players to get them to the National Hockey League. It's a perfect marriage. It's the job I coveted for a number of reasons. I just couldn't be happier to be here."
Blashill replaces Curt Fraser, who resigned last week to become an assistant with the Dallas Stars.