Wisconsin makes it official as Nick Oliver accepts assistant coach post

"We are excited to bring Nick and his family to the University of Wisconsin," head coach Mike Hastings said.

Nick Oliver Force.jpg
Fargo Force head coach Nick Oliver talks to his team behind the bench against the Tri-City Storm on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022 at Scheels Arena in Fargo.
Rob Beer / The Rink Live

MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin on Thursday made it official that Fargo Force head coach Nick Oliver is joining new head coach Mike Hastings' staff in Madison, a move first reported by The Rink Live on Tuesday.

Oliver spent one season with the Force, leading the team to its first Anderson Cup title for regular-season play and to its sixth Clark Cup finals. The Roseau, Minnesota, native moves back into the college ranks after spending four seasons as an assistant at St. Cloud State.

"We are excited to bring Nick and his family to the University of Wisconsin," said Hastings, who in late March was named head coach of the Badgers after reaching eight NCAA tournaments while at the helm at Minnesota State. "His depth of experience as a player and a coach will help prepare our young men for success. Nick has earned the reputation as one of the best young coaches in our game through his work ethic and ability to develop meaningful relationships with his players."

Shortly after his move, Hastings hired Todd Knott, his former associate head coach with the Mavericks, to join him at Wisconsin.

Oliver, 32, said he is grateful for the opportunity with the Badgers.


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"I couldn't be more excited for the opportunity to work with coach Hastings, coach (Todd) Knott and the rest of the UW staff," Oliver said in a statement. "I'm looking forward to start building relationships with our players and for the opportunity to honor the many people who have come before us in this program. My family and I can't wait to get to Madison and join the Badger Family."

Oliver was named coach of the year in the USHL after guiding the Force, a team for which he formerly played for, to a 40-14-4-4 record.

“I couldn’t be more grateful and appreciative for the opportunity to have served as the head coach in Fargo,” Oliver said. "This organization and community mean a great deal to my family, both in my time as a player and coach. Fargo is a model organization for the USHL and provided our staff with first-class professionalism and support. I’m very proud of what we were able to accomplish this season and would like to thank the players for taking our staff on an incredible ride. I’m excited to watch the tradition of success and development continue in the years to come."

Four Force players, Joe Palodichuk, Owen Mehlenbacher, Anton Castro and Tanner Walos, are currently committed to join the Wisconsin program.

“We couldn’t be more excited for Nick,” said Fargo Force President Jon Kram. "He is an outstanding coach and person; he made a big impact during his time here and we wish him all the best in his new role at Wisconsin.”

Rob Beer is the digital content manager for Forum Communications. A journalist with Forum Communications since 1991, he is the editor of The Rink Live and helps cover the CCHA. He also assists with other content produced by Forum Communications.
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