position Assistant Coach
Hometown Pittsburgh, Pa.
Alma Mater Ohio State (2005)
JB Bittner, a two-time captain for the Ohio State men’s hockey team, returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach in May 2017, his second stint on the staff. He has been a part of six NCAA Tournament trips for the program over his time as a player and coach.
Bittner, a forward for the Buckeyes from 2002-05, has coaching experience at the professional, collegiate and junior levels, along with international competition with Team USA.
In 2017-18, Bittner’s first season back with the Buckeyes, the team advanced to its first Frozen Four in 20 years, posting a 26-10-5 record, and led the country on the penalty kill while ranking third in team defense and in the Top 10 in scoring offense and on the power play. In 2018-19, the squad captured the Big Ten regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, posting a 20-11-5 record. The 2019-20 team finished second in the Big Ten, posted a 20-11-5 overall record and was poised for a program-record fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament when the remainder of the season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bittner came to Ohio State after serving as the associate head coach of the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the United States Hockey League (USHL) in 2016-17.
With Dubuque, Bittner, a Pittsburgh native, was involved in all aspects of the team as the squad reached the USHL Eastern Conference Final. He was on the Team USA staff at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge during the winter, helping the team to the gold medal.
Dubuque was Bittner’s second stop in the USHL. He spent two seasons with the Tri-City Storm (2013-14, 2014-15) as an assistant coach; the team led the USHL in goals-against average in 2015. Prior to his first USHL post, Bittner was behind the bench for two campaigns as an assistant coach with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays (2011-12, 2012-13).
He was on the Ohio State staff from 2008-11, serving as an assistant coach in 2009-10 and as the video coordinator for two seasons. The team earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament in 2009. He also spent one year as an assistant coach at Big Ten member Wisconsin (2015-16).
Bittner played for the Buckeyes from 2002-05, competing in 160 games to rank fifth in program history in career games played and posting 37 goals, 39 assists and 76 points. He was captain of the 2004 CCHA Super Six Championship team and on three NCAA Tournament squads. Bittner received the team’s Joseph W. Smith Best Defensive Player award (one of only 11 forwards in program history to earn the award) and was the Scarlet and Gray award winner, given to the most intense player, in 2003 and `05.
Bittner spent three years playing professionally after his time with the Scarlet and Gray, skating with a number of teams, including Portland and Iowa in the American Hockey League. He was a member of the Florida Everblades in the ECHL his last year as a professional but injuries kept him out of the lineup throughout the campaign.
Bittner earned his bachelor’s degree in sport and leisure studies from Ohio State in Summer 2005. He and his wife, Katie, also an Ohio State graduate, have two children, Sydney and Benson.