Western Michigan extends Blashill through 2016

Western Michigan has extended USCHO.com national coach of the year Jeff Blashill’s contract through the 2015-16 season.

According to a press release issued by WMU, through incentive adjustments, Blashill’s guaranteed compensation will raise to $275,000 annually with the new deal.

“I am very excited to strengthen my commitment to Western Michigan University and the Bronco hockey program,” Blashill said in the release. “I am equally pleased to see Western Michigan’s commitment to building an elite Division I college hockey program with the support needed to win at the highest level nationally. This contract exhibits both. I believe we have attributes to offer our student-athletes and potential recruits that can set us apart nationally. The passion for Bronco hockey on our campus and in our community is unmatched.”

Blashill’s original contract, set to expire at the end of the 2014-15 season, will extend to the following season under this amendment. Incentives remain a part of Blashill’s financial package, reaching a possible $100,000 in additional income, and are tied to academic and athletic criteria.

“Our current CCHA membership will be shifting significantly with the current Big Ten members leaving to form their own Big Ten hockey league, beginning 2013-14,” added WMU athletic director Kathy Beauregard. “It is critical for WMU to demonstrate to the hockey world we are committed to aligning our University with those institutions within a conference that competes at the highest level of collegiate hockey. Coach Blashill’s contract extension sends that message loud and clear. This is a great day for all members of our Bronco family.”

Western Michigan reached the CCHA championship game for the first time since 1986 and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in school history during Blashill’s first season at the helm. WMU ended the 2010-11 season ranked 13th in the nation by USCHO.com and spent 17 total weeks in USCHO.com’s Top 20.