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Carter Krier continues his rapid rise in Ohio State’s coaching ranks – The Rink Live

Carter Krier continues his rapid rise in Ohio State’s coaching ranks – The Rink Live

FARGO — Carter Krier has risen through the coaching ranks pretty quickly. The Moorhead native was stopping pucks for East Grand Forks High School just six years ago and wasn’t even thinking about coaching at the time.

And today, Krier has emerged as one of the USHL’s top youth coaches, helping the U.S. national team win a bronze medal at the World Junior A Challenge in December, Fargo reach the Clark Cup final for the second year in a row – and the Force lift the USHL’s top prize this spring.

And he’s only 24.

“It’s pretty crazy how fast it all happened,” Krier told The Rink Live. “Right out of high school, I went to school (at UND) and coaching wasn’t on my radar at all. But I have to give Scott Oliver credit for letting him help me out first in the fall with some camps and the elite league and then at East Grand Forks High School. That kind of led to me working with the Force.

“Honestly, I didn’t expect to be able to do much with it and it was fun just to stick with the game. But a few years later, I’m training with Scott’s son (Nick Oliver) in Fargo and here we are now. It worked out in a weird way, but it was a lot of fun and here I am today.”

However, Krier’s rapid rise will now take him to the Big Ten: The Rink Live has confirmed that Krier will join Ohio State as an assistant coach.

“I’m absolutely thrilled about this opportunity and really looking forward to working with Steve Rohlik, JB Bittner, Paul Kirtland and the team,” Krier said. “They’ve done phenomenal work over the years and of course there’s so much tradition at Ohio State University, so I’m just really excited to get started and do what I can to support the program.”

FARGO FORCE DES MOINES

Fargo Force head coach Brett Skinner, flanked by assistants Carter Krier (left) and Corey Leivermann, gives points during a Jan. 5, 2024, game against Des Moines at Scheels Arena in Fargo.

Rob Beer / The Rink Live

Krier said the opportunity to join the Buckeyes came after the season, but the process was quick from there. Still, he felt comfortable right after the first phone call with Rohlik and the OSU staff.

Ironically, this will be his fifth different coaching staff in five years, as Krier has worked under four different head coaches in each of the last four seasons in Fargo – Pierre-Paul Lamoureux (20-21), Scott Langer (21-22), Nick Oliver (22-23) and Brett Skinner (23-24).

Nevertheless, Krier left a positive impression on all four and earned more and more trust and responsibility.

“It’s been fun working with Carter this season and it’s been great to see his development as a coach firsthand,” Skinner said. “He’s done a great job with our goalies and has been a big reason why both of our goalies (Anton Castro and Hampton Slukynsky) have had such great seasons. He’s also been the best player on our penalty kill (at a USHL record 86.2%) and has done a great job of getting our guys involved.

“But more importantly, Carter is a great person and deserves this opportunity. We had a lot of fun together all season and I’m really excited to see what happens next in his career because his passion and determination will take him far.”

“Both when we coached together and last year with Skinns, I think you saw Carter make a lot of steps as a coach. And it’s not surprising that he gets an opportunity like this,” added Oliver, who is now an assistant at Wisconsin. “He’s an incredible person, he’s super loyal and he’s one of the hardest-working, most detail-oriented people I’ve ever met.”

“Considering how successful he’s been and the opportunities he’s had so early in his coaching career, it’s a testament to his character and he’s only going to get better. I’m really glad he (got the job at Ohio State) and personally it’s been a lot of fun watching him grow, both as a coach and as a person. It’s incredible that he’s already accomplished this at his age.”

Nick Oliver behind the bench.jpg

One of the first calls Nick Oliver (pictured) made when he got the job in Fargo was to his father, Scott, to ask about Carter Krier. Oliver ended up keeping Krier on his team and now the two will coach against each other in the Big Ten. “It didn’t take long for me to understand why my dad spoke so highly of him and appreciated his work ethic and the work he was able to do,” Oliver said. “He’s one of those people that you just enjoy working with and they make you better.”

Rob Beer / The Rink Live

As for Fargo’s performance with Krier on the bench, the Force totaled 148-73-13-6 in his four seasons. Fargo set a USHL single-season record with 50 wins this winter and allowed the USHL’s fewest goals with 143 in 62 games – 49 fewer than second-place Madison (192).

It was the second consecutive season the Force allowed the fewest goals against in the league – 159 in 2022-23 – and Fargo’s second straight Anderson Cup. Krier also played a key role in Slukynsky’s success, being named USHL Goaltender of the Year.

“Carter was someone I relied on a lot this year,” Slukynsky said. “I’d never had a full-time goalie coach before and coming to the USHL after high school was an adjustment, but Carter made it really easy. We did a lot of video work together and spent a lot of time with him at practice on the ice, and he had a really calming presence as well. So he was a big part of the success of me and our team.”

“I’ve had both really good goalies and really good coaches over the last four years in Fargo,” Krier added. “Obviously all four had different styles and you get a wide range of different perspectives, but I was able to learn from all of them and they were all good mentors.”

“As far as goalies go, Cary Eades and his team have done a really good job of identifying talent, and I’ve been very fortunate to be able to work with some good goalies. And the teams have played great against them.”

Now he will try to repeat that success in Columbus. The Buckeyes (14-20-4, 4-18-2) finished at the bottom of the Big Ten last season and were beaten 94-50 in the conference, but are looking to get back on track in 2024-25.

Although it will be hard to leave the Midwest, as one chapter ends, a new one begins. And Krier’s story seems far from over behind the bench. During his time in Fargo, Krier founded Edge Goaltending, which specializes in training young goalies to become elite goalies.

“It’s definitely bittersweet leaving Fargo and it will be kind of my first time living or coaching away from home,” Krier said. “Fargo has had a lot of different faces come in and out, whether it’s players, coaches or people in management, but there have been so many special people and relationships over the last four years. And I think that’s a big part of our success and to cap it off with a championship was pretty special.”

“At the same time, my family and everyone around me were very supportive of the decision and I just felt like the timing was right. And moving to Ohio State was a really good fit. I’ve also heard nothing but good things about Columbus, so I’m excited to go there and see what the future holds.”

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