Colorado College assistant coach Norm Bazin will not return to his duties this season in order to focus on his continued recovery and physical rehabilitation from injuries following his automobile accident last November. The college has hired former Tigers defenseman Eric Rud on a one-year interim temporary basis to replace Bazin as he recovers.
“We are encouraged by Norm’s recovery thus far. His decision not to come back prematurely will allow him to concentrate on his rehabilitation. We look forward to his return when he is ready,” said CC athletic director Julie Soriero. “In the meantime, we are pleased to have someone of Eric’s caliber fill in for Norm, and that Eric’s availability coincides with Norm’s recovery period.”
As the team’s recruiting coordinator, Bazin has been largely responsible for bringing standout players such as goalie Curtis McElhinney, forward Brett Sterling and defensemen Richard Petiot and Mark Stuart — all NHL draft choices — to the Tigers. He has been a member of the hockey staff since the 2000-01 campaign, Scott Owens’ second as head coach.
“Fortunately, my recovery has gone extremely well and I am confident that I will be cleared to perform all coaching duties soon,” Bazin said. “I also understand that in order for the hockey program to remain competitive there must be a recruiting coordinator traveling throughout the year.”
In the interim, he anticipates being released by doctors later in the year to return to a role in the athletics department.
“I feel truly blessed to have a second chance to enjoy my family and friends, and I’d like to thank Colorado College, Julie Soriero, the coaching staff and everyone who has expressed concern over my condition since last November,” said Bazin. “The support has been overwhelming and greatly appreciated.”
Rud has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders of the United States Hockey League. The Minnesota native graduated from CC in May 1997 after an illustrious playing career with the Tigers, whom he helped win league titles in each of his first three years and served as team captain for his last two (1995-96 and 1996-97). Colorado College also reached the NCAA Frozen Four while Rud was voted Defensive Player of the Year in the WCHA his junior and senior seasons.
“I am excited about returning to the WCHA and helping out Colorado College at this time,” said Rud, who played professional hockey for five years after leaving CC. “It’s a great opportunity to learn under Scott Owens, who has proven himself to be an outstanding head coach at the NCAA Division I level.”