Ferris State alum Jeff Blashill, who started his coaching career right here at his alma mater, was recently named the Head Coach of the Detroit Red Wings.
Blashill served as the Dawgs’ goaltender from 1994-98, and played a coaching role for Ferris St. for three seasons afterward.
Despite the fact that Blashill’s coaching career since then has seen him bouncing around the country in several roles at varying levels of competition, he still boasts a strong sense of Bulldog pride.
Question: Given the Wings’ playoff streak, are you feeling any additional pressure to make it to the postseason in your first year?
Answer: “First of all we take everything year by year. The significance of the playoffs for me is that in order to compete for the Stanley Cup you have to get to the playoffs. Our focus will be on the day-to-day work that we’ll have to put in to ultimately become a contender for the Stanley Cup.”
Q: Your coaching career has seen a lot of stops around the state and beyond. Do you still find time to keep up with Ferris hockey?
A: “Absolutely. I keep very close tabs on Ferris and Ferris hockey. I’m very good friends with the coaching staff. It’s the longevity of Bob Daniels’ career here and the job that he’s done that’s been a really prideful thing for we alums, so I’m checking in with him all the time.”
Q: Having coached at Ferris for a time, did you pick up any of your coaching techniques from Ferris’ staff?
A: “Bob and Drew Famulak were the two people that I coached with when I started here. Certainly the foundation that I have as a coach was built here at Ferris and it had a huge impact on my profession.”
Q: Why do you find it important to maintain those connections and keep tabs on the team and what does that mean for the program?
A: “It’s awesome. There are the guys that I’ve coached and played with that I’m still in contact with, then there are the guys that I’ve never been on the team with, but we have a relationship just because we’re all Bulldogs. It’s just a great group of truly special people.”