Osiecki named men's hockey assistant

Former Badger defenseman rejoins program, replacing Mark LeRose

Green Bay Gamblers head coach and general manager Mark Osiecki, a former Wisconsin captain, is rejoining the men's hockey program as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, head coach Mike Eaves announced Wednesday.

Osiecki's tenure will officially begin June 14. The hiring fills the position left open by the midseason departure of John Hynes, who left to coach the U.S. National Team Development Program. Interim assistant coach Mark LeRose completed his term with the Badgers on April 30 and has since returned to his previous job as a financial analyst.

Osiecki returns to the Badgers after enjoying success at many levels of hockey. In addition to winning a national championship as an assistant captain at Wisconsin in 1990, Osiecki won a Tier I junior hockey national championship as head coach of the Gamblers (2000), won an NCAA championship as an assistant at North Dakota (1997) and led the U.S. Under-18 Team to silver medals as both a head coach (1999) and as an assistant (2000). He was the head coach for the gold-medal winning U.S. Junior Select team at the 1998 Freedom Challenge in Lake Placid, N.Y.

"We are very excited to have Mark join our staff," Eaves said. "He brings not only college, but junior and professional experience to his coaching. His strong ties to this program as a former player will benefit us in recruiting as he will speak from the heart regarding his college experiences."

"For me, coming in and being able to have the opportunity to work under Mike Eaves and (associate head coach) Troy Ward, it's really an opportunity second to none," Osiecki said. "I'm extremely excited about it. Being a former player and going through the challenges, I'll hopefully be able to relay that on to the players we bring in. From a selfish standpoint, I am going to be able to learn from two of the best."

In seven years as head coach and general manager of the United States Hockey League's Gamblers, Osiecki compiled a 199-154-98 record. In addition to the 2000 national championship, the Gamblers won the USHL Eastern Division title every year from 1999 to 2002.

More than 50 of Osiecki's Gamblers continued their player careers in NCAA Division I hockey, including a handful of recent and soon-to-be Badgers. Included among that group are current Badger forwards Adam Burish and A.J. Degenhardt, as well as former Badgers forward John Eichelberger and defenseman Dan Boeser. Defenseman Kyle Klubertanz will come to Wisconsin in the fall.

Osiecki began his coaching career with an assistant coaching job at North Dakota during the Sioux' national championship during the 1996-97 season. He took the Green Bay job the following season.

Osiecki skated for Wisconsin from 1987–90, earning three letters and serving as one of the assistant captains for the 1990 NCAA Championship team. During that season, he collected career highs with 38 assists and 43 points.

A Burnsville, Minn., native, Osiecki was selected in the 1987 National Hockey League Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames and enjoyed a two-year career playing with the Flames, Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota North Stars. He also represented his country as a player, competing for the United States at the 1992 World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.

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