Ohio State’s Steve Rohlik was named the hockey coach of the year in the Big Ten this week. But when it comes time to pose for the photo, he left no doubt on Wednesday it should be a group affair.
“First and foremost, it’s really not my award,” Rohlik as the Buckeyes prepared for the Big Ten title game at Notre Dame on Saturday night. “I’ve got to be honest with you, I’m truly blessed with some amazing people here.
“I’ve got an incredible staff and obviously very good players. This is about the program for me, so it’s truly an honor and very humbling.”
>> Video | Steve Rohlik talks about the team effort
He is, however, at the top of the pyramid. To strengthen his position heading into this season he brought in a new associate head coach in Steve Miller, who has been part of the staff on three national championship teams, and also added former OSU two-time captain J.B. Bittner to the staff.
The players, led by forward Tanner Laczynski, who was named first team all-Big Ten Ten this week, responded to the tweaks, even as they were coming off a season that saw them reach the NCAA Tournament.
Now the Buckeyes (24-8-5) are ranked No. 5 in the country in one major poll and No. 6 in another headed toward the match with Big Ten regular-season champion Notre Dame, ranked No. 3 and 4 in the same polls.
“To me the most satisfaction is seeing the guys after a game like Saturday night,” when OSU beat Michigan in sudden-death overtime in a Big Ten semifinal at Nationwide Arena, Rohlik said. “That’s truly what it means, to see all the hard work and dedication through the good and the bad. To win games like that, that’s what is really special to me.”