Ron Rolston, currently one of two head coaches at USA Hockey's National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, will serve as head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team that will compete at the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2008-Jan. 5, 2009, in Ottawa.
"We're extremely pleased to have Ron Rolston lead our team in the World Junior Championship," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "He's done an excellent job as a head coach at our National Team Development Program and is clearly the right person to coach our team in Ottawa."
Rolston, a Flint native, led the U.S. National Junior Team to the bronze medal at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship in Leksand and Mora, Sweden. He also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Junior Team that placed fourth at the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship in Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
"Ron is an exceptional coach," said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. "He is very much in tune with both the talent pool in our country and what it takes to be successful in international competition."
Rolston recently completed his fourth season with USA Hockey's NTDP having served as the head coach for the U.S. National Under-17 Team. He led the squad to 30 wins and second-place finishes at the 2007 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament, 2008 World Under-17 Challenge and the 2008 Vlad Dzurilla Under-18 Tournament. Rolston's successes in international competition also include, leading the U.S. National Under-18 Team to the gold medal at the 2005 IIHF World Under-18 Championship and the silver medal at the 2007 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
Prior to his tenure with USA Hockey's NTDP, Rolston served as an assistant coach at Boston College (2002-04), Harvard University (1999-2002) and Clarkson University (1996-99). He also spent five years at Lake Superior State, four as assistant coach (1990-94) and one as associate head coach (1995). While at Lake Superior State, Rolston helped the Lakers capture NCAA titles in 1992 and 1994.
He played college hockey at Michigan Tech University.
Joining Rolston behind the bench will be assistant coaches Nate Leaman (Union College, ECACHL) and P.K. O'Handley (Waterloo Black Hawks, USHL), and goalie coach Jeff Blashill (Indiana Ice, USHL).
Rolston will lead the 2008 National Junior Evaluation Camp August 1-9 in Lake Placid, N.Y., as a part of the selection process for the 2009 U.S. National Junior Team. The final roster will be announced in early December 2008.
NOTES: Rolston is a USA Hockey Level 5 certified coach, while Leaman, O'Handley and Blashill are all USA Hockey Level 4 certified coaches… Ken Martel, manager of youth ice hockey for USA Hockey, will serve as the video coordinator for the 2009 U.S. National Junior Team… Mark Osiecki from the University of Wisconsin, Jay Varady from the Everett Silvertips and Mike Cavanaugh from Boston College, along with the coaching staff of the 2009 U.S. National Junior Team, will form the coaching staff for the 2008 National Junior Evaluation Camp… The U.S. has played for a medal in the World Junior Championship in each of the last six events.
Photo by RJ Meyer/NAHL