Oct. 9, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio – RJ Umberger, an All-American at Ohio State who has spent the last seven seasons playing in the NHL, including the last four with the Columbus Blue Jackets, has joined the Ohio State men’s hockey staff as its volunteer coach, Mark Osiecki, Ohio State head coach, announced.

“With the NHL lockout in full force, I am looking forward to being more connected to the Ohio State hockey program once again,” Umberger said. “I’m excited to spend time on the ice with the players keeping myself in shape and hopefully offering any advice and help I can to them.”

Umberger was a three-year letterwinner with the Buckeyes from 2001-03 and ended his career with 129 points. He was a JOFA West Second Team All-American as a junior in 2003 after posting career highs of 26 goals, 27 assists and 53 points. He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award and earned first team All-CCHA accolades. Umberger was the 2001 CCHA Rookie of the Year after joining the Ohio State program from the U.S. National Team Development Program. He played in the World Junior Championship in 2001 and ’02.

“Having an alum of RJ’s stature around our program will be great,” Osiecki, now in his third year with the Buckeyes, said. “As an All-American in college he knows what it takes to be successful at the collegiate level and he has carried that on to a successful professional career. For him to be able to share that with our players will really help their development.”

An Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten choice, Umberger continued to work toward his degree after turning professional and earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing in Spring 2011.

Umberger has skated in 551 career NHL games and has scored 143 goals, adding 171 assists for 314 points. He spent his first three seasons in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers before he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2008-09. He was the first former Ohio State player to play in the NHL with the Blue Jackets. Umberger, an alternate captain for the CBJ, played in 77 games and had 20 goals, 20 assists and 40 points in 2011-12.

After his freshman season at Ohio State, Umberger was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft. He was selected No. 16 overall, the highest draft pick in Buckeye history.

The Buckeyes open the regular season with two road games at non-conference foe Minnesota Duluth this weekend. The teams will meet at 8:07 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday in Duluth, Minn.