Brett Larson, he Ohio State men's hockey team's Associate Head Coach, is leaving the program today and returning to his alma mater, the University of Minnesota Duluth, to join their staff as an assistant.
Larson has been Head Coach Steve Rohlik's lead assistant and has been on the staff for both of Rohlik's two years behind the bench as Head Coach. Prior to joining OSU hockey two seasons ago, Larson was an assistant for UMD for three seasons, including 2011 when the Bulldogs won the 2011 NCAA championship.
A native of Duluth, Larson graduated from UMD in 1995 after captaining the hockey team during his senior season. He helped lead the team to the 1992 WCHA title and scored 67 points in 133 collegiate games for UMD.
This loss doesn't seem to be a lack of faith in Rohlik or Ohio State's commitment to hockey in general. It just seems as though Larson got another chance to join the staff of his hometown alma mater where his wife and family never left, according to Ohio State's press release on the matter.
A more charismatic lead assistant may be necessary for Ohio State anyway as the team's recruiting for the upcoming year fell way off after having multiple players drafted last season. Rohlik's helped bring in quality recruits like Tyler Nanne and Matt Weis, but a more charismatic, well-known or experienced assistant may help with recruiting.
OSU's wasn't exactly known for their coaching prowess last year, anyway. There was the goalie controversy between Matt Tomkins and Christian Frey throughout most of last season, despite Frey's clearly superior play and numbers. Players returning from injury couldn't get off the fourth line while freshman like Christian Lampasso, who were getting knocked off the puck routinely, were getting Top 6 minutes.
So, both coaching and recruiting wise, there isn't really a huge dropoff to make. Larson gets to go home to his alma mater, while Ohio State has the chance to up the coaching staff in terms of both team management and recruiting.