Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Former Irish Star Named Head Coach In Grand Rapids

June 6, 2018

By Katherine Harvath

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Former University of Notre Dame hockey player Ben Simon was named the head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, on Tuesday, June 5. He takes over as the 11th coach in franchise history.

Simon previously served as the assistant coach under Todd Nelson for three years, helping coach the team to the 2017 Calder Cup Finals victory over the Syracuse Crunch.

Simon began his coaching career during the 2010-11 season, as the head coach of the Sheffield Steelers (EIHL) before becoming the assistant coach for the Rockford IceHogs (AHL) for two seasons. Simon then served as the head coach to the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL during their 2013-14 run to the Kelly Cup Finals. He was also a member of the coaching staff with the Toronto Marlies before his time in Grand Rapids.

Fun Fact: Ben Simon is the third former #Griffins player to serve as Grand Rapids’ head coach, joining Nelson (2015-18) and Danton Cole (2002-05). #GoGRG

— Grand Rapids Griffins (@griffinshockey) June 5, 2018

Prior to his coaching career, Simon spent 11 seasons in professional hockey, competing in various leagues, including four seasons in the NHL. A fifth round draft pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Simon spent three seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers where he netted three goals and one assist for four points. He also spent time in his home state of Ohio, as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2005-06.

A four-year forward with the Fighting Irish, Simon served as the team captain during his senior season, and ranked first on the team in assists with 19 and second in total points with 32. During his junior campaign in 1998-99, he ranked first on the team in goals (18), points (42) and fell just one shy of the top spot in assists (24). A CCHA Second Team selection in 1999, he still stands in the top 25 all-time scorers in the team’s history with 130 points.

— ND —

Katherine Harvath is in the midst of a summer internship with the Athletic Communications branch of Fighting Irish Media. She is a 2018 graduate of Bowling Green State University, where she studied sport management.