Wisconsin announced Wednesday that the Badgers’ revamped coaching staff is now in place as with the addition of JB Bittner as new assistant coach.
“One of the reasons we were drawn to JB was his huge passion for the recruiting side of things,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said in a news release. “His knowledge of kids across the country is much needed in this position and he takes great pride in the recruiting side. That was something we really wanted to find.”
Bittner joins associate head coach Luke Strand and director of hockey operations John Hamre.
“One of my strengths is talent evaluation and recruiting,” Bittner added. “I love building relationships with kids and this is a fun place to recruit to because any time you bring a kid in on to campus here, his eyes light up. With the building, you bring a kid to a game with 14-15,000 people is pretty cool. That is going to be exciting. I am really looking forward to that.”
Bittner coached with the United States Hockey League’s Tri-City Storm the past two seasons and from 2011 to 2013, was an assistant coach with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays.
A 2005 graduate of Ohio State, where he was a two-year captain, Bittner played in the American Hockey League and ECHL in three-plus years of pro hockey. He returned to OSU to become a video coach in 2008. After one season, Bittner became one of the team’s assistant coaches, but returned to his video coach position when Mark Osiecki took over the program for the 2010-11 campaign.
“With what those outside of this organization is saying about the program right now, it is fun for Luke [Strand] and I and Mike [Eaves] to kind of group together with the guys that are in the locker room and kind of have an us-against-the-world mentality,” Bittner concluded. “This is still Wisconsin hockey. It is going to be fun to bounce back.”