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Nick Oliver named USHL Coach of the Year after guiding Fargo to 40 wins, Anderson Cup in his first season

Nick Oliver becomes the second coach in Force history to be named the USHL Coach of the Year

Nick Oliver behind bench.jpg
Nick Oliver is in his first season as head coach of the Fargo Force. Oliver was named the USHL Coach of the Year Friday morning.
Rob Beer / The Rink Live

After guiding the Force to a 40-14-4-4 record and an Anderson Cup in his first season behind the Fargo bench, Nick Oliver has been named the USHL Coach of the Year.

Oliver is the second head coach in franchise history (Dean Blais, 2008-09) to take home the award.

Fargo’s 40 regular-season wins and 88 points were both franchise records. Oliver became Fargo’s winningest first-year coach in the process.

The Force finished the season with the USHL’s best win percentage (.710) and had a seven-point lead on Waterloo atop the Western Conference. Fargo also had three players recognized on the All-USHL Teams and one on the All-Rookie Team.

Fargo currently has a 1-0 lead over Lincoln in the Western Conference Finals as the Force continue their pursuit of the organization’s second Clark Cup.


“The expectation from day one was we want to be a team that has the goal of winning the Clark Cup,” Oliver told InForum last month. “And from there it was, let’s put our head down, go to work and get better every day and every week.”

Oliver — who turned 32 on Thursday — took the Fargo job last May after spending the previous four seasons as an assistant at St. Cloud State.

With Nick Oliver heading to Wisconsin, the Fargo Force are looking for their fifth head coach since the 2018-19 season. Here's a look at some potential names that could fill the vacancy
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A Wannaska, Minnesota, native, Oliver played for the Force from 2009-2011 before going on to a four-year career at SCSU. He was the Huskies’ captain as a senior and helped lead SCSU to its first Frozen Four in 2013.

He got his coaching career started during the 2015-16 season as an assistant with the Sioux Falls Stampede and spent three seasons behind the Stampede bench.

Nick Oliver Force.jpg
Fargo Force head coach Nick Oliver talks to his team behind the bench against the Tri-City Storm on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022 at Scheels Arena in Fargo.
Rob Beer / The Rink Live

League awards are voted on by each member club’s general manager after each club nominates their players for awards.

The USHL awards will conclude on Friday as the GM of the Year (noon) and Player of the Year (2 p.m.) will also be announced.

To view the full schedule of awards for this week, click here.

Jordan McAlpine is a junior and prospects reporter for The Rink Live.
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