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John Bierchen tabbed as Fuel assistant coach

Former Columbus Cottonmouths assistant will join Bernie John full time


INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy Fuel, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, announced Tuesday that they have hired John Bierchen (BEER-shin) to be the club’s full-time Assistant Coach. Effective immediately, Bierchen will work alongside Head Coach and VP of Hockey Operations Bernie John in all facets of the Fuel’s day-to-day activity.

“On behalf of the entire Indy Fuel organization, we are extremely excited to have John join our coaching staff,” [Bernie] John said. “His name came up through some quality references who all spoke very highly of him. Moving forward he will have a hand in many different areas of the hockey operations department, and will help play a critical role in helping our organization take the next step forward.”

Bierchen, 29, brings a versatile array of coaching experience to Indianapolis, including three years as an assistant coach with the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Columbus Cottonmouths from 2013-2016. During his time in Columbus, Bierchen helped the Cottonmouths to a 79-74-15 regular season record (.515) and two playoff berths, including a trip to the President’s Cup Finals in 2014. While in Columbus, Bierchen helped advance 11 players to the ECHL, in addition to coaching the 2014-15 SPHL Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player.

Most recently, the University of Alabama graduate returned to his alma mater in 2016-17 to lead the burgeoning club hockey program in Tuscaloosa – becoming the first former Crimson Tide player to return as a head coach. With Bierchen at the helm, Alabama skated to a 19-14-2 record, the most wins in the program’s ACHA Division I era.

“It’s an honor to get an opportunity to coach with an elite organization in the Indy Fuel,” Bierchen explained. “Getting to work with Bernie John, the players, and the rest of the Fuel organization is going to be an elite experience and I look forward to putting in a relentless effort everyday to make sure we are successful on and off the ice.”

After graduating with a business degree from Alabama in 2012, Bierchen began his coaching career with a short stint as a volunteer assistant coach with the University of Alabama-Huntsville (NCAA Div. I). Shortly after, he joined the SUNY Canton (NCAA Div. III) staff as an assistant for the 2012-13 season.

A three-time participant in the NHL Coaches Association Clinic and a five-time attendee of the American Hockey Coaches Association Convention, Bierchen has also spent part of the previous three seasons developing under the advisement of the Rockford IceHogs coaching staff.

Born and raised in Clearwater, Fla., Bierchen brings with him an extensive track record of charitable and community involvement. During his coaching career, Bierchen has worked with organizations such as the Children’s Miracle Network, Habitat for Humanity and many others while spearheading local initiatives like Alabama’s “Beat Auburn, Beat Hunger” food drive.

“In every city there are different needs and challenges,” Bierchen said. “I really enjoy helping people and doing what I can to improve their lives. I am looking forward to getting to know the Indianapolis community.”

Ticket Plans for the 2017-18 Indy Fuel season are now on sale! Join the team for year four at Indiana Farmers Coliseum and receive priority access to seats for the 2018 CCM/ECHL All Star Classic! Learn more by visiting or calling 317-925-FUEL. Keep tabs on the team during the offseason by following the Fuel on Twitter and Instagram (@IndyFuel) and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the Fuel on Facebook.