COLUMBUS, Ohio — Peter Elander, the associate head coach of the Ohio State University women’s ice hockey team, is stepping away from coaching at the collegiate level to focus on his family and his health, the team announced on Wednesday.
Elander joined the OSU staff before the 2017-18 season and made an immediate impact, adding another level of depth to the experience already on the bench with head coach Nadine Muzerall and assistant coach Milica McMillen. With each coach bringing a little something different to the table, they led the Buckeyes to their first NCAA Frozen Four appearance in program history.
“We always speak about putting your family and your health first, and that’s what I’m doing” Elander said. “After eight years in the NCAA and nine years with the Swedish National Team I’ve decided to step away so I can spend more time with my family and help my son continue to develop as a player while I deal with some small lingering health issues. I’ll still be in the hockey world, just taking it a bit easier as a consultant.”
With nearly 30 years of coaching experience, Elander brought both international flair and a deep knowledge of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association to the Ohio State staff. Prior to arriving in Columbus Elander spent seven seasons with then WCHA rival North Dakota before the women’s hockey team at the university was disbanded. Additionally, Elander served as the head coach of the Swedish Women’s Nation Team in the International Ice Hockey Federation.
“Today is a sad day for our program as Peter steps away from our staff,” coach Muzerall said. “In his short time with us Peter has done a great job connecting with the players and helped spark the change in our team’s success. He’s truly become part of our family. Peter’s knowledge and experience is unrivaled, and while we’ll miss him we also know that him being with his family during this time is important so we fully support his decision to step away.”
Success followed Elander at every stop in his career. He led the Swedish team to a silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics and a fourth place finish at the 2010 games. As an associate head coach at North Dakota he helped lead the team to the only two NCAA tournament appearances the team had before it was dissolved in 2017.
“I’m very grateful to Nadine and Diana Sabau for the opportunity to be part of this program. I would not be able to step away if I didn’t know that the team was in good hands and fully prepared to continue the success on the ice.”