July 15, 2022
Coach brings wealth of experience to the Buckeyes
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Luke Strand, with coaching experience across the junior, collegiate, professional and international levels, has been named an assistant coach for the Ohio State men’s hockey program, Steve Rohlik, the Buckeyes’ head coach, announced Friday.
Most recently, Strand was in the United States Hockey League with the Sioux City Musketeers, where he led the team to the 2022 Clark Cup title.
“We are excited about the addition of Luke Strand to the staff,” Rohlik said. “He has an elite hockey mind and brings a work ethic and passion that will resonate throughout our entire program. Both Luke and Coach Bittner have the ability to communicate and develop players, and that is such an important quality at this level.”
Strand’s hockey experience includes …
- Time in the USHL with the Green Bay Gamblers, Sioux City Musketeers and Madison Capitols, including stints as head and assistant coach, general manager and director of operations.
- His first USHL stop was with Green Bay for two seasons as an assistant coach, beginning in 2003-04 and his first head coaching position was with Sioux City (2009-10, 2010-11). Strand was the Musketeers’ general manager in 2013-14 before he returned to the organization as head coach and director of operations in July 2017. He served as head coach and GM of Madison in 2014-15.
- A season in the Big Ten at Wisconsin, coaching alongside current Buckeye assistant coach JB Bittner, as well as stops at St. Norbert College, where he started his coaching career, and his alma mater, Wisconsin – Eau Claire.
- In professional hockey, Strand was an assistant coach in the AHL with the Houston Aeros and the Abbotsford Heat. The Aeros won the Central Division title and were Western Conference finalists during his time, while the Heat reached the Western Conference finals.
- He served as an NHL amateur scout for the Calgary Flames in 2016-17.
- Strand was on the Team USA staff that won gold at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge.
- More than a dozen Musketeers who played under Strand have been selected in the NHL draft, including pro Buckeye Max McCormick.
“Thank you to the leadership at The Ohio State for the opportunity to join their hockey staff led by Steve Rohlik and JB Bittner,” Strand said. “I look forward to continuing to grow the Buckeye hockey program to new heights.
“I love how Ohio State holds athletics and academics to high standards while striving to make the student-athletes even better people. I cannot wait to get started. My time in Sioux City has been very beneficial to teaching young men life and hockey and I now look forward to this new chapter.”
A native of Wisconsin, Strand played junior hockey for the North Iowa Huskies of the USHL before a four-year career at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, where he was part of both the hockey and baseball programs. Strand spent three years playing professionally, skating with the Madison Monsters and Madison Kodiaks.
Away from hockey, Strand enjoys spending time with his son, Bryce, as well as reading, hunting and fishing.
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COURTESY OHIO STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS