Jeff Blashill is entering his sixth season as head coach of the Detroit Red Wings. Blashill has accumulated nine seasons with the organization, spending the 2011-12 campaign as an assistant coach for Detroit before serving as head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit’s American Hockey League affiliate, from 2012-15. After leading the Griffins to three of the most successful campaigns in the franchise’s history, he ascended to his current role on June 9, 2015.
Over his first 5 seasons as head coach, Blashill has overseen a transitional period for the organization, and his previous accolades at the college and minor-league level has aided the Red Wings in developing high draft picks into everyday NHL players. In his first season with the Red Wings, Blashill guided the club to its 25th consecutive postseason appearance, extending a streak that finished as the third-longest in NHL history.
Following each of the last three seasons, Blashill has been tabbed as head coach of the United States at the IIHF World Championship. Blashill previously had experience with USA Hockey at the 2006 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament (silver medal), 2009 World Junior A Challenge (gold medal) and 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship (fifth place).
Blashill’s time in Grand Rapids was highlighted by a 2012-13 campaign that saw Grand Rapids capture a regular-season Midwest Division title and eventually the first Calder Cup championship in the franchise’s 17-year history.
Born in Detroit and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Blashill won the Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s most outstanding coach in 2013-14 and was named head coach for the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic. He was the first coach in Griffins history to qualify for the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, leading the team to 92 points or better each year.
Blashill made his head coaching debut with the United States Hockey League’s Indiana Ice. The Ice earned a franchise-record 39 wins in 2008-09 and won the Clark Cup as champions of the USHL. He began his coaching career with four seasons as an assistant coach for Ferris State University from 1998-02, followed by six seasons in the same role with Miami University in which the RedHawks qualified for the NCAA tournament four times.
A goaltender in his playing days, Blashill spent his collegiate career at Ferris State and was the Bulldogs’ Rookie of the Year in 1994-95, earned a spot on the CCHA All-Academic Team in 1996-97 and won FSU’s President’s Award in three consecutive years for having the highest grade-point-average on the Bulldogs. In 78 games over his four seasons in Big Rapids, he held a 27-36-5 record with two shutouts. He previously spent three seasons with the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers, helping the team to a Clark Cup championship in 1992. He is one of two people in league history to win the Clark Cup as both a player and head coach.