GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Jeff Blashill, who has deep ties to West Michigan, was named the new head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins on Monday.
This past season, Blashill was an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings. Previously, the 38-year-old was the head coach at Western Michigan University, with other coaching stops at both Miami of Ohio and Ferris State (where he also played in the mid-1990s.)
He replaces Curt Fraser, who left the Griffins to become an assistant with the Dallas Stars.
"We're very excited to name Jeff the next head coach of the Griffins," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a statement. "He's a talented coach that has a proven track record of working well with young players. He did a tremendous job for us in Detroit last season and we look forward to having him groom and mentor our prospects in Grand Rapids."
"I'm thrilled for the opportunity to be the head coach of the Griffins," Blashill said in his statement. "I had a tremendous experience in Detroit last season and will lean on that as I make the transition behind the bench in Grand Rapids. I worked with most of our young players at training camp and in the preseason last year. We have some great talent in the organization. I'm looking forward to getting started."
He will be the ninth coach in the history of the Griffins.
Organizers say it would mark the largest effort yet in a push for higher pay.
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