Eddie Olczyk (OHL-chek) begins his first season as an assistant coach at Bemidji State in 2016-17. The former NCAA Division I player at Massachusetts joins the BSU coaching staff after coaching stops at Division I and Division III programs on the east coast.
Olczyk most recently served as assistant coach at Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y. In one season with the Purple Eagles, he aided in the planning of practices, teaching and development of players, and recruited across North America. In addition he served as the team’s academic coordinator and was responsible for all facets of its travel.
Prior to his time at Niagara, Olczyk spent one season (2014-15) as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Utica College, a Division III men’s hockey program in Utica, N.Y. As a part of the Pioneers’ coaching staff, Olczyk oversaw the defensemen, led their power-play unit and was responsible for recruiting forward Hayden Dawes, the 2015-16 ECAC-W Rookie of the Year and an all-rookie team honoree. He also developed and implemented the team’s pre-season and in-season weight training plan and coordinated the team’s community service initiative.
As a player, following three seasons (2006-09) in the United State Hockey League with the Sioux City Musketeers and Waterloo Blackhawks, the Long Grove, Ill. native was a four-year letterwinner (2009-2013) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he earned a spot on the Hockey East All-Academic Team. Olczyk was also named to the Ledyard National Bank Classic All-Tournament Team after leading the Minutemen past Bemidji State, 4-3, and netting an unassisted, short-handed goal as UMass claimed the 2012-13 Classic title.
Olczyk graduated from UMass in the spring of 2013 with a degree in psychology.
Beyond collegiate play, Olczyk played for the Bloomington Thunder of the Southern Professional Hockey League, where he logged 54 games during the 2014-15 season. Playing professionally, he followed in the footsteps of his father, Ed, who played 16 NHL seasons with the Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins, won a Stanley Cup, and later served as head coach of the Penguins.