Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill played hockey for Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan before embarking upon his coaching career. His coach at Ferris, Bob Daniels, reminisced upon Blashill’s coaching beginnings in a conversation with the Big Rapids News’s John Raffel:
“What happened was during his senior year, we had a meeting and I asked him what his plans were,” Daniels said. “He said he didn’t know and wasn’t sure he was going to pursue pro hockey and he was thinking of going on for his MBA.”
Daniels asked Blashill if he had ever thought about getting into coaching.
“He said he thought about it but didn’t know how to go about it,” Daniels said. “I said why don’t you stick around one year and work as a volunteer assistant coach for us and work on your MBA here? That summer, Jamie Russell left to go to Cornell. So we had an opening. So he went two weeks from being a student assistant coach to a fulltime assistant coach for us. It was a matter of being at the right place at the right time.”
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
Blashill was a goalie four seasons at Ferris and was Rookie of the Year in 1994-95 and earned a spot on the CCHA’s All-Academic Team for 1996-97.
“He had a solid career for us,” Daniels said. “We’ve been blessed with having some really good goaltenders and certainly Jeff was one of them.”