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Columbus’ Umberger to coach at Ohio State

R.J. Umberger

Columbus Blue Jackets’ R.J. Umberger celebrates his goal against the St. Louis Blues during the third period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Nov. 30, 2009, in Columbus, Ohio. Umberger scored a hat trick during the Blue Jackets 5-2 win over the Blues. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)


RJ Umberger is giving back to his alma mater.

That’s the word out of Columbus on Tuesday as the current Blue Jackets center -- and former Buckeyes All-American -- announced he’ll be joining Ohio State’s men’s team as a volunteer coach during the lockout.

“With the NHL lockout in full force, I am looking forward to being more connected to the Ohio State hockey program once again,” Umberger told the OSU Athletic site. “I’m excited to spend time on the ice with the players keeping myself in shape and hopefully offering any advice and help I can to them.”

Umberger spent three seasons at Ohio State from 2000-03, earning All-American honors as a junior by scoring 53 points in 43 games.

During his time with the Buckeyes, Umberger played with a number of future NHLers including Ryan Kesler, David Steckel, Rod Pelley and Nate Guenin.

He also played with a guy named Peter Broccoli, which I’m mentioning mostly because there’s a guy named Peter Broccoli.

It’s worth noting that Umberger is still the highest-drafted player in Buckeyes history, taken 16th overall at the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.