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Carlson Earns 500th USHL Coaching Victory

10/26/2014, 11:00am CDT

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders head coach Mark Carlson earned the 500th win of his USHL coaching career on Saturday night, becoming just the fifth USHL coach to reach that mark.

Becomes just second coach in League history to win 500 with one team

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders head coach Mark Carlson earned the 500th win of his USHL coaching career when his team captured a 4-2 victory on Saturday night over the Sioux Falls Stampede.

It was the fourth straight victory for the RoughRiders who are 7-1-0 this season and tied for first in the USHL Eastern Conference with 14 points.  Carlson is in his 16th USHL season and currently holds a 500-320-87 record all-time in the regular season.  He is just the fifth coach in League history to reach the 500-win mark, joining P.K. O’Handley (550), Mike Hastings (529), Dave Siciliano (522), and Bob Ferguson (517).

Carlson has spent his entire USHL career with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and has been the only coach the team has had since first arriving in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the 1999-2000 season.  He is just the second coach in the 500 club to earn all of his victories with one team, joining Mike Hastings who earned all 529 of his wins with the Omaha Lancers (1994-2008).

During his time in Cedar Rapids, Carlson has guided his teams to at least 30 victories on 11 occasions, including a team record 42 victories in both the 2004-05 and 2010-11 seasons.  The Riders captured the Anderson Cup in both of those seasons as the team with the best regular season record.  Carlson also was named the USHL Coach of the Year in both 2004-05 and 2010-11.

The Riders have qualified for the playoffs in 13 of the 15 previous seasons that Carlson has been behind the bench and won the Clark Cup title following the 2004-05 season, the first playoff championship in team history.

In addition to racking up victories, Carlson has developed over 150 players that have earned NCAA Division I college hockey opportunities, including Andy Miele who captured the 2010-11 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player.

A total of 23 players that Carlson has coached have been selected in the NHL Draft, and 28 have signed NHL contracts.  Eleven players that he coached with the RoughRiders have played in the NHL, including Alec Martinez who has twice won the Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings.

Seven players that competed under Carlson in the USHL are currently on NHL rosters – Justin Abdelkader (Detroit Red Wings), Matt Donovan (New York Islanders), Alec Martinez (Los Angeles Kings), David Moss (Arizona Coyotes), Teddy Purcell (Edmonton Oilers), Alex Stalock (San Jose Sharks), and Tommy Wingels (San Jose Sharks).

Carlson has also guided several players that have gone on to coaching careers, including current assistant coach Doug Leaverton who played two seasons for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2007-09). 

Carlson, a native of New Jersey, played college hockey and earned a degree from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.  He was also selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 11th round (215th overall) of the 1987 NHL Draft.  He spent one season as assistant coach with his alma mater before spending three seasons as an assistant at Northeastern University where he also earned a masters degree in education.


Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 13th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2014-15.  A record 35 players were chosen in the 2014 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.  For more information, visit us on the web at or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (/ushlhockey), twitter (@USHL), and YouTube (/ushlinteractive).  Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (

It’s not just hockey.  It’s the USHL

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