Cory Laylin, the former Gophers standout and long-time professional player, will join the St. Thomas men's hockey coaching staff, the university announced Friday.

The Tommies are embarking on their first season in the new CCHA as the school moves to Division I athletics, and Laylin is joining the staff of Rico Blasi, who was named head coach in April.

Laylin, 51, replaces Stu Bickel, who was on Blasi's staff briefly before leaving to coach with Springfield (Mass.) in the American Hockey League.

Laylin played four seasons with the Gophers from 1988-1992 and had 107 points (58 goals, 49 assists) on teams that reached the NCAA tournament four times.

The St. Cloud native was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins and played numerous pro hockey seasons in Europe before moving into an assistant coaching role with Hamline in 2008.

He would take over as head coach of the Pipers in 2014, posting a 54-80-23 record over six seasons.