John Gruden spent four seasons (2011-15) as an assistant coach at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program prior to taking the reigns of head coach for the Ontario Hockey League's Flint Firebirds for stints in 2015-16.
While with Team USA, Gruden helped coach gold-medal finishes at the 2012 and 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Men's World Championships.
Prior to his time with the NTDP, Gruden served as head coach and director of player personnel for the Oakland (Mich.) Junior Grizzlies AAA hockey team. The Virginia, Minn., native was also head coach at Stoney Creek (Mich.) High School (2007-10) and Brother Rice Prep School (2005-07) in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Prior to embarking on his coaching career, Gruden competed professionally for 10 seasons, with stops in the National Hockey League, American Hockey League, International Hockey League and in Europe. He also represented the U.S. internationally at the 2003 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship in Helsinki, Tampere, and Turku, Finland.
Gruden was a four-year standout at Ferris State University, (1990-94) where he played in 155 games and amassed 104 points (40-64). He became the first NCAA Division I All-American in Ferris State Athletics history as a result of being named to the American Hockey Coaches Association's (AHCA) All-America Team in 1993-94. He also was the first Bulldog player in 12 years to achieve Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) First-Team honors and finished as the runner-up for the CCHA's Player of the Year Award.
Gruden played junior hockey for the United States Hockey League’s Waterloo Black Hawks where he earned Defenseman of the Year honors in 1990. He notched seven goals and collected 39 assists in 47 games played that season.