Nadine Muzerall has brought back a familiar face to her coaching team.

On Monday, Muzerall and Ohio State women’s hockey announced that James Wisniewski, a former defenseman for the Columbus Blue Jackets, a 14-year NHL veteran, and a former volunteer assistant coach at Ohio State, is rejoining the Buckeyes’ staff as the associate head coach.

“I value loyalty and hard work the most in a staff member, and James embodies both. His deep understanding of the game comes from his extensive experience in the pros and with Team USA. He is not only knowledgeable but also innovative, bringing fresh ideas to our team. Ohio State has high standards, and James meets those standards.”

Head Coach Nadine Muzerall via press release

Wisniewski, selected 156th overall in the 2002 NHL draft, played over 500 games with the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Carolina Hurricanes. By the end of his NHL career in 2016, he had accumulated 274 points (53 goals and 221 assists), including 121 points for the Blue Jackets from 2011-15.

Originally from Canton, Michigan, Wisniewski also represented the United States in various international competitions, earning gold medals at the 2002 World U18 Championships and the 2004 World Junior Championships. He was also a member of Team USA at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

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After his time in the NHL and international play, Wisniewski returned to Columbus and served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Ohio State women’s hockey team during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. Now, four years later, he is back with the program in a full-time capacity.

“Being part of the Buckeye family four years ago was a great honor, and I am thrilled to return in this new role. Nadine has done an incredible job transforming this program, and I look forward to working with her, the rest of the staff, and the players to continue the Buckeyes’ success in women’s hockey.”

James Wisniewski via press release