COLUMBUS, Ohio – Mark Osiecki, Ohio State men’s hockey coach, will be joined behind the bench by Steve Rohlik and Steve Brent as he opens his tenure with the Buckeyes. Osiecki, who was named head coach April 24, has named Rohlik (raw-lick), who spent the last 10 years at Minnesota-Duluth, his associate head coach, with Brent, a Buckeye captain and member of the Ohio State coaching staff for more than 10 years, returning as an assistant coach.
“As I look at it, adding both Steve Rohlik and Steve Brent gives Ohio State one of the premier coaching staffs in the nation,” Osiecki said. “They both bring different experiences and the three of us will work hard to turn the Ohio State program into a family. I’m extremely grateful they both have decided to join me as we put Buckeye hockey back on the map.”
Rohlik and Osiecki have a long history, dating to their high school playing days growing up in Minnesota. The duo were roommates together at Wisconsin, captaining the Badgers’ 1990 NCAA championship team.
“Steve Rohlik and I have been close for many years,” Osiecki said. “Not only did we face each other in high school and share the experience of winning a national title at Wisconsin, our parents are friends to this day. He is one of the top assistant coaches in the country and we are thrilled he and his family have decided Ohio State is the right place for him to continue his coaching career.”
Rohlik just completed his 10th season as a member of Scott Sandelin’s staff at Minnesota-Duluth where the squad advanced to two NCAA tournaments, including reaching the NCAA Frozen Four in 2004, and won the 2009 WCHA playoff title. He joined the Bulldog staff after three years at Nebraska-Omaha, beginning in its inaugural season of NCAA Division I hockey in 1997. Rohlik spent five years as the head coach at Hill-Murray High School, his alma mater, in St. Paul, Minn., posting a 107-20-1 ledger and leading the squad to two Minnesota State High School Tournaments, including a runner-up finish in the 1993 Tier I event and fourth place in 1997 Class AA before joining the UNO Mavericks. He also served one-season assistant coaching stints at Wisconsin (1990-91) and Stillwater High School (1991-92).
A native of St. Paul, Minn., Rohlik played in 166 career games at Wisconsin, serving as a two-time captain and posting 81 points on 34 goals and 47 assists. The recipient of the Fenton Kelsey Award as the Badgers’ Most Competitive Player as a senior, Rohlik was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the sixth round of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft.
Rohlik graduated from Wisconsin in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism. He and his wife, Julie, have two daughters, Erin and Annie, and a son, Grady.
“I’m honored and excited to join the Buckeye family,” Rohlik said. “As a staff we will be dedicated to helping Ohio State get where it needs to be in the national hockey landscape. Oz and I won a national title together and ever since have remained close. We’ve been coaching against each other in the WCHA the last six years and I recruited a number of players from his time with the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL. It’s a new journey for our family and we are really looking forward to it.”
Osiecki and Brent will work together for the first time after crossing paths throughout their coaching careers.
“I’ve known Steve Brent for a long time from seeing him out on the recruiting trail,” Osiecki said. “His more than 10 years with the program as a coach, as well as his time as a player and captain, will bring invaluable insight as we get our tenure underway at Ohio State.”
Brent has spent 13 of the last 14 years on the Ohio State coaching staff and is two years into his second full-time stint with the team. After playing four years with the squad, he began his coaching career as the volunteer assistant in 1998-99 before moving into a full-time assistant coaching position for eight seasons (1998-99 through 2005-06). He was the team’s volunteer assistant in 2007-08 before returning in a full-time capacity for the 2008-09 campaign. Brent was on the Buckeyes’ staff for five NCAA tournament appearances, including the program’s first NCAA Frozen Four berth in 1998. He also was on the coaching staff when the team won three games in three days to claim the 2004 CCHA tournament title.
A four-year letterwinner for the Buckeyes from 1994-97, Brent played in 123 games and ranks third in Ohio State’s career record book for penalty minutes (477). He totaled 13 goals and 23 assists for 36 points for the Scarlet and Gray and was named the team’s 1994 George Burke Most Valuable Freshman, as well as the Joseph W. Smith Best Defensive Player in 1997. He earned Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten honors and received a Corwin A. Fergus Memorial Award.
Brent and his wife, Adi, have a daughter, Tess, and a son, Alex. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio State in 1998.
“Coach Osiecki and I have a lot of the same values and ideals and thoughts on the direction of the team we will be able to build on as we develop the program,” Brent said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to stay at Ohio State, the university which has given so much to me. Knowing Oz and Steve, I expect us to work extremely hard in all facets of the program to raise the level of play. I can help make the transition to Ohio State in all areas easier.”