position Head Coach
Hometown St. Paul, Minn.
Alma Mater Wisconsin, 1990
Career Record (Through 2018-19) 113-84-28
Steve Rohlik, through his first six years as the head coach of the Ohio State men’s hockey team, has led the program back into the national picture. The Buckeyes have made three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Frozen Four berth in 2018 (the first for the program in 20 years). In 2018-19, he guided the squad to the first Big Ten regular season title in program history and the school’s first conference regular season crown since 1972.
Rohlik, the 2018 and ’19 Big Ten Coach of the Year and two-time AHCA National Coach of the Year finalist, including a runner-up finish in 2018, was named the ninth head coach in Ohio State men’s hockey history in April 2013 after spending three years as the Buckeyes’ associate head coach. He has more than 20 years experience as a Division I coach and during his career has recruited and/or coached two Hobey Baker Award winners, 16 All-Americans – including Buckeyes Brady Hjelle, Ryan Dzingel, Mason Jobst and Tanner Laczynski – and nearly 20 players who have reached the NHL. He has a career and Ohio State record of 113-84-28 through 2018-19.
Under Rohlik, the Buckeyes have been outstanding academically, combining as a team to post a grade-point average of 3.0+ throughout his tenure. He has had 39 players combine for 79 Academic All-Big Ten accolades and 46 accumulate 106 Ohio State Scholar-Athlete nods. Sean Romeo was recognized with the NCAA Elite 90 Award at the 2018 Frozen Four. In 2018-19, 16 Buckeyes were invited to the Ohio State Scholar-Athlete Dinner and 13 earned Academic All-Big Ten accolades.
On the ice, the team has posted three-straight 20+ win seasons, led the NCAA on the power play in 2016-17 and on the penalty kill in 2017-18. The team has ranked in the Top 10 in scoring offense and in the Top 12 on the power play three of the last four years. The Buckeyes allowed just 2.07 goals a game in 2017-18, the best mark in program history.
The 2018-19 campaign began with high expectations for the team, as it was selected first in the Big Ten preseason poll and began the year ranked in the Top 3 in the national polls, moving to No. 1 before the squad even played its first game. It was the first time Ohio State was atop a national poll since three weeks in fall 1983. The Buckeyes responded to the expectations, winning the B1G regular season crown with a 13-7-4-3 record and a nine-point cushion in the final standings. Ohio State earned a third straight NCAA bid, matching the feat set by the program from 2003-05. Rohlik was the unanimous choice for Big Ten Coach of the Year, Sasha Larocque was voted B1G Defensive Player of the Year and Tommy Nappier was the B1G Goaltender of the Year and a Mike Richter Award semifinalist. Mason Jobst was a Hobey Baker Award finalist (the fifth in Ohio State history), became the program’s second two-time All-American and was one of four Buckeyes to earn first/second team All-B1G accolades. Tommy Parran was the program’s first Hockey Humanitarian Award Top 5 finalist and Larocque was a Senior CLASS Award finalist. Ohio State ended the year 20-11-5 for a third straight 20-win campaign.
The 2017-18 squad notched one of the best campaigns in program history, ending the year 26-10-5 (never losing more than two games in a row) and finished second in the Big Ten with a 14-8-2-1 ledger while also advancing to the league tournament championship game (an overtime loss). A No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, Ohio State topped Princeton and defending NCAA champion Denver in the Midwest Regional to reach the program’s second Frozen Four and the first since 1998. The squad, which ended the year a program-high third in the national polls, ranked in the Top 10 in the NCAA in scoring offense, scoring defense, power play, penalty kill, fewest penalty minutes per game, wins and winning percentage. Four Buckeyes earned All-Big Ten first/second team accolades, Laczynski was a Second Team All-American and Romeo was both a Mike Richter Award finalist and the NCAA Elite 90 Award winner for the highest grade-point average among players at the Frozen Four.
In 2016-17, Rohlik led the Buckeyes to the NCAA Tournament, the first appearance for the squad since 2009. The team notched its first 20-win season since that time, with a record of 21-12-6, including an NCAA-best 13 road wins. In B1G play, the squad was 11-8-1-1, finishing in third place, just one point behind second. The team ranked in the Top 3 nationally in scoring offense (3.92 gpg) and was first on the power play (31.6%), with a Top 10 point scorer (Jobst, who earned First Team All-Big Ten and Second Team All-America honors) and Top 3 goal scorer, with three Buckeyes in the Top 5 among B1G point getters.
Rohlik’s first season at the helm of the Buckeyes (2013-14) also marked the first year of men’s hockey as an official Big Ten Conference sport. He led the team to a spot in the inaugural Big Ten Tournament championship game, with an overtime win in the quarterfinals vs. Michigan State and an upset of No. 1-ranked and top seed Minnesota in the semifinals before an overtime defeat in the final. The squad was 18-14-5 overall in 2013-14 (6-9-5-4 in B1G play). In his second year, the Buckeyes (14-19-3, 8-11-1-1 B1G) ended the season strong, going 7-4-1 in the last 12 games, and reached the conference tournament semifinals. The 2015-16 Buckeyes (14-18-4) were 8-8-4 in Big Ten play, advanced to the B1G tourney semifinals and closed out the year undefeated in eight of their last nine games, ranking in the Top 10 in the NCAA in scoring offense on the year.
Rohlik joined the Ohio State program in 2010 after 10 seasons on the coaching staff at Minnesota Duluth (2001-10) where the squad advanced to two NCAA Tournaments, including a Frozen Four appearance in 2004, and won the 2009 WCHA playoff title. He was part of the staff that put together the roster of the Bulldogs’ 2010 NCAA Championship squad.
Rohlik coached three seasons at Nebraska-Omaha, joining the program for its inaugural campaign in 1997-98. In the team’s first campaign as a member of the CCHA (its third year as a Division I team), the squad advanced to the 2000 CCHA Tournament final.
Rohlik spent five years as the head coach at Hill-Murray High School, his alma mater, in Saint 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 (Minn.) High School (1991-92).
A native of Saint Paul, Minn., Rohlik is a 1990 graduate of Wisconsin. A four-year letterwinner for the Badgers, he wore the captain’s C in both 1989 and 1990. He was a senior on the squad that won the NCAA title, as well as the WCHA regular-season and tournament crowns, and was named the WCHA Tournament MVP that season. The team qualified for the NCAA Tournament each of his last three seasons and also captured the 1988 conference playoff championship. Rohlik skated in 166 games for Wisconsin, scoring 34 goals and adding 47 assists for 81 points, and received the team’s Fenton Kelsey, Jr. Most Competitive Player honor in 1990. He was an eighth-round selection by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft (No. 151 overall).
Rohlik earned his bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism from Wisconsin. He and his wife, Julie, have two daughters, Erin and Annie, and a son, Grady.
|Season||Record||B1G Record/Finish||B1G Tournament||NCAA Tournament|
|2017-18||26-10-5||14-8-2/2nd||Runner-up||Frozen Four Semifinals|