St. Cloud, MN – It’s the nature of the coaching profession. If you’re going to make a career out of coaching it’s necessary to keep moving. For SCSU assistant coach Nick Oliver the next logical step was a head coaching position in the United States Junior Hockey League, the top junior ice hockey league sanctioned by USA Hockey in the United States.
On Monday, May 2nd, the Fargo Force announced they have hired former Force player Oliver as their next head coach. Oliver replaces Scott Langer who was released after a year in the position.
“We are excited to have Nick back in Fargo,” said Fargo Force President Jon Kram. “He is a strong leader who has played at all levels which gives him a unique perspective of the game. It’s always great to see former players succeed and we can’t wait to see what Nick does here with the Force.”
The 30-year-old Oliver, a native of Wannaska, MN (near Roseau) has already built an impressive hockey resume at a young age. Oliver played for the Force for two seasons and was an assistant captain in 2010-11 before joining the SCSU Huskies as a player in 2011-12. A four-year regular, he was an assistant captain in 2013-14 and captain in 2014-15, his final season. His coaching career began in 2015 as an assistant coach and director of scouting for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL. He joined Brett Larson on the staff of the Huskies as an assistant coach in 2018 until the present.
“My family and I are humbled and honored for the opportunity to be the next Head Coach of the Fargo Force,” commented Nick. “This organization has always been a special place for me and I’m excited to call Fargo home. I can’t wait to connect with our players and get started.”
Oliver was a 4th round draft choice of the Nashville Predators in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He follows in the footsteps of his father Scott who played two years of professional football for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL and a lengthy career as both a high school and junior college coach of both hockey and football. Scott Oliver was named to the NJCAA Hockey Hall of Fame following a career that included two national championships for the University of Minnesota-Crookston.
On April 13th the Fargo Force announced that General Manager Cary Eades and the organization had agreed to a contract extension.
The timing is appropriate as the USHL Phase I and Phase II Drafts are on Monday, May 2nd and Tuesday, May 3rd.
The Huskies will immediately undertake a search for Oliver’s replacement. The most likely candidate is R J Enga, currently the team’s Director of Hockey Operations. A former player at Colorado College and professional hockey, the 50-year-old Enga has an extensive resume as a coach at various amateur levels for 11 seasons including 7 years as an assistant at Colorado College.