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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Broncos name pair of new assistants

WMU Press Release

Western Michigan has announced the hiring of Pat Ferschweiler and Rob Facca to the positions of assistant coach, completing new head coach Jeff Blashill's coaching staff heading into his first season at the helm.

“I am extremely excited to add Pat and Rob to our staff,” Blashill commented. “Both are outstanding people and coaches who bring valuable skill sets and experiences to our program.”

Ferschweiler, who played for Western Michigan from 1990-93, built the Russell Stover AAA Hockey program in Overland, Kan., from the ground up in August 2004 and has coached the U-18 team through 2010. Under Ferschweiler, Russell Stover has become one of the elite hockey programs in the country, winning several midwest regional championships and competing for national championships. Ferschweiler’s most recent Stover team finished in third place at the 2010 USA Hockey Tier I 18U National Tournament. He was also the director of hockey for the Kansas City Stars youth organization from 2005-2009. Under his guidance, the Stars membership grew from 35 players to 360. He also trained Stars coaches at both the travel and house level, as well as teaching coaching classes designed to improve their understanding of hockey and their ability to teach the game.

As a player Ferschweiler, 40, suited up for the Brown & Gold in 116 total games and amassed 95 points on 30 goals and 65 assists. He was awarded the Rob Hodge Most Valuable Player for the 1992-93 season in which he tallied 35 points including a career-best 15 goals. He was also named the CCHA’s Best Defensive Forward for the 1991-92 season. Ferschweiler played professionally for 11 seasons, five of which with the Kansas City Blades of the International Hockey League, back when the IHL was one of the top minor pro leagues in the nation.

“Pat, a former Bronco captain, has great passion for Western Michigan University and Bronco hockey,” said Blashill. “His extensive professional playing experience, playing both forward and defense, makes him a great resource for our players. He is a proven winner as a head coach and has shown great ability developing his young players skills and helping them mature and grow as young men.”

Facca comes to Western Michigan after spending three seasons as an assistant coach with Northern Michigan under head coach Walt Kyle.

At NMU, Facca managed the Wildcats’ comprehensive international recruiting program and also worked with skill development, assisted with scheduling and helped coach the forwards.

With Facca’s help, the Wildcats produced a two-time All-American defenseman in Erik Gustafsson, now with the Philadelphia Flyers organization, and All-American and First Team All-CCHA member Mark Olver, a member of the Colorado Avalanche organization. The Wildcats advanced to the CCHA Tournament semifinals the past three seasons and lost to Michigan in the finals of the 2009-10 tournament. Also with Facca’s help, the Wildcats made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in over a decade last season. The Nebraska-Omaha alum also spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater from 2005-07.

Prior to UNO, Facca, 32, spent two seasons as an assistant coach for the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League.

“Rob is a proven college recruiter, having led the recruiting efforts at Northern Michigan the last three years,” added Blashill. “He is very well connected and respected in the recruiting areas we want to be strong in and he gives us a great advantage as we pursue future Broncos. Rob also spent three seasons working with Walt Kyle, who I consider one of the best coaches in our game.”

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