Osiecki out at Ohio State over ‘difference of opinion over the management of the program’

Mark Osiecki said he was “very surprised” to learn he would not be continuing as Ohio State coach.

The school fired Osiecki on Monday after a three-year stint as coach of the Buckeyes.

“They came in this morning and told me at 8 a.m.,” Osiecki said. “We didn’t know anything.”

Ohio State was 16-17-7 this season, and Osiecki was 46-50-16 with the Buckeyes.

“We are making a change in our head hockey coaching position,” Ohio State associate vice president and athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement. “There was a difference of opinion over the management of the program that could not be resolved.”

Osiecki declined to address specifics on that statement, but said he thought the program was going in the right direction.

“The opportunity that was here was great,” Osiecki said. “We felt good about where the program was headed and we felt good with the recruits, the families. The kids that we had in the locker room now are doing in the right way. A lot of good things.”

Associate head coach Steve Rohlik will be the primary point person for the program, student-athletes and recruits while a permanent replacement is sought, according to an Ohio State news release. Rohlik was named interim head coach April 16.

Osiecki won national championships as a player (1990) and assistant coach (2006) at Wisconsin and also had a successful stint as coach and general manager of Green Bay of the USHL.

He said he doesn’t yet know what his next move will be.

“I have to take the next couple of days and let the dust settle a little bit,” Osiecki said. “But obviously I want to stay in it. I’d like to coach. I’m not sure which direction, to be honest. I don’t know which direction to go or what will present itself.”