Mercyhurst College Director of Athletics Joe Kimball announced Monday the hiring of John Rosso as a men’s hockey assistant coach. Rosso, who joins the head coach Rick Gotkin and the Lakers after serving in the same capacity with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League, replaces Brian Burke, who resigned in June to take over as head coach of Victory Honda in Michigan.
“We’re really excited to welcome John Rosso to the Laker family,” said Gotkin. “With his coaching and recruiting background, we know he will make an immediate impact on our players and the program, and continue to attract the kind of student-athletes that we like to recruit here at Mercyhurst.”
Rosso, a native of Hopkins, Minn., brings an extensive hockey background to the men’s hockey program, serving as an assistant coach and recruiting scout in the USHL, the North American Hockey League, Central Collegiate Hockey Association and Western Hockey League.
Most recently, Rosso helped Sioux Falls to a 27-24-9 record and a fifth-place finish in the Western Division this past season, falling just one point shy of clinching a playoff berth. He also served as the team’s top scout, recruiting and coaching 29 players that received NCAA Division I scholarships.
Prior to joining the Stampede in 2008, Rosso spent three seasons with the Alexandria Blizzard (NAHL), working under head coach and general manager Brad Willner. In his final season, the Blizzard compiled a 29-25-4 regular season record, won the Central Division playoffs and earned a spot in the Robertson Cup Finals.
Rosso got his start in coaching at his alma mater, the University of Nebraska-Omaha, in 2004, serving as a volunteer assistant coach. The Mavericks excelled with him on staff, building a 19-16-4 record and reaching the CCHA Super Six for the first time in four years.
A 2001 graduate of UNO, Rosso earned a degree in history while playing four years of hockey under head coach Mike Kemp. Rosso’s first season as a Maverick in 1997 was a memorable one, as the school reinstated hockey after a 21-year hiatus. Three years into his career the Mavericks made the move to the CCHA and, that same year, reached the conference final after a stunning 7-4 upset of Michigan in the CCHA Final Four. During his career, Rosso was honored with several awards including the UNO Student Achievement and Most Improved Player Awards.
After graduation, Rosso spent three years working as a recruiting scout with the Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL) in 2002, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) in 2003 and Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) in 2004 before returning to Omaha.
- From Mercyhurst College news release