President, Head Coach and General Manager
Mark Carlson has been the RoughRiders' Head Coach and General Manager since the team arrived in Cedar Rapids. He has coached the RoughRiders to the Clark Cup playoffs every year since the 2000-01 season. The RoughRiders won the Clark Cup in 2004-05 and the Anderson Cup in both 2004-05 and 2010-11. Carlson was also named the USHL Coach of the Year in both 2004-05 and 2010-11. Carlson also earned his 400th USHL victory in 2010-11.
Carlson has had the honor of serving as head coach for Team USA during the 2008 and 2009 World Junior A Challenge. Both years, Team USA won the Gold Medal. In 2009, Carlson was also recognized as the United States Olympic Committee Development Coach of the Year.
Over (130) players who have skated for Carlson have received Division I scholarships, (21) have been selected in the National Hockey League Draft, (24) have signed NHL contracts, (33) are developing in the minor leagues and (11) have made their NHL debuts.
In addition to his hockey duties, Carlson became part owner of the RoughRiders in 2009. In 2012, Mark expanded his resposibilities within the RoughRider Hockey Club to become President of the USHL Cedar Rapids RoughRiders while retaining his role as the only Head Coach and General Manager in the history of the RoughRider franchise.
Carlson also oversees the coodination of coaching activities within the RoughRider Hockey Club as it has added affiliate relationships with the Cedar Rapids Youth Hockey Association, Cedar Rapids High School RoughRiders, Rocky Mountain RoughRiders of the Tier One Elite Hockey League and the Connecticut Oilers of the EJHL, Empire Junior Hockey League and the EJ Elite Prospects Hockey League.
A native of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Carlson graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell with a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing. While at Lowell, Carlson skated as a forward with the River Hawks. His on-ice talent was recognized even before he arrived in Lowell when he was selected in the 1987 National Hockey League draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
After graduating from UML, Carlson spent one season as an assistant coach at Lawrenceville School before returning to Lowell to serve as an assistant to head coach Bruce Crowder. After helping the River Hawks to a berth in the 1996 NCAA tournament, Carlson spent another three seasons beside Crowder as an assistant at Northeastern University in Boston, where he also acted as recruiting coordinator. He earned a master's degree in education from N.U.
Carlson and his wife Tammy currently live in Ely with sons Dustin and Brayton.
Assistant Coach and Goalie Coach
A native a Livonia, Michigan, Osaer was drafted in 1999 by the St Louis Blues and went on to play 12 seasons as a professional including five in North America and seven in Europe. Osaer appeared in one NHL game for the New York Rangers.
Osaer played for the Waterloo Blackhawks and earned a USHL All Star appearance and team Most Valuable Player.
Osaer played three years of college hockey for Ferris State University before turning pro in 2001. While at Ferris State, Osaer was awarded team MVP and All CCHA Second Team recognition.
Osaer completed his Business Administration degree from Ferris State in 2012 and earned a Post Graduate Certificate in Sports Coaching from Cardiff Metropolitan University in Cardiff, Wales.
Osaer resides in Cedar Rapids with his wife Samantha.
Assistant Coach and Strength and Conditioning Coach
A native of Austin, Texas, Upton graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point with a B.S in Health Promotion and Wellness. He most recently earned a Masters Degree in Education of Athletes while serving as Assistant Coach and Strength and Conditioning Coach at Stevens Point. Upton was a student athlete at Stevens Point playing defense and serving as captain for the Pointers hockey team
Upon graduation, Upton played professional hockey for the Columbus Cottonmouths (SPHL).
Doug Leaverton, a native of Painesville, Ohio, started his RoughRiders career as a player during the 2007-2009 seasons. After attending Colorado College studying economics, he returns to Cedar Rapids as a volunteer assistant coach. In charge of team operations and community service, Doug is excited about his first full season helping out with the team and is working towards finishing his business/economics degree at Kirkwood.
Chris Ipson, MA, ATC, LAT, ASCM
Certified Athletic Trainer and Equipment Manager
Chris Ipson joined the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders as part of the St. Luke's Hospital Sports Medicine team in August 2011. He spent the last 23 years with Michigan Tech University after spending the previous four years as Head Athletic Trainer for the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. All together, Ipson has spent the last 32 years working Division I and professional ice hockey. Chris has also worked on five occasions covering teams for USA Hockey, traveling throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. Ipson is also a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and an instructor for the American Heart Association.
JoAnn Perez has been the RoughRiders' Housing Coordinator since the 2005-2006 season.
She is responsible for seeking living accommodations that meet both the players' needs and match the profile of a family in the local Cedar Rapids area. She acts as liaison with Kennedy & Washington High Schools for the RoughRider student players.
The RoughRiders housing program is committed to a mutually beneficial experience for both the athlete and the host family. Athletes range in age from 16-20 years old and come from all over North America and other countries to become part of one of the finest junior hockey programs in the country.
The USHL experience begins in the home of the housing families:
"The Roughrider Housing Program is a great experience for the family and the player. The program is also a vital part of the team's success."
-Mark Carlson, Head Coach and General Manager.
Housing Family Requirements
Desire to support the Roughrider's Program
Live within a reasonable distance to The Stable
Demonstrate well-balanced, family-oriented lifestyle
Provide physically comfortable and mentally supportive and nurturing environment for our hockey players.
Housing Family Benefits
A monthly housing stipend of $200 to help offset costs
Two free season tickets and two additional tickets for household members at 50% off
A great opportunity to build a life-long relationship and help a young person realize their dreams
If you are interested in possibly housing a RoughRider, please contact JoAnn Perez, Housing Coordinator at 319-981-3289 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.In addition to her housing responsibilities, Perez works full-time at GreatAmerica Leasing Corporation, where she is an HR Specialist in Training & Development. JoAnn is also involved in Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
JoAnn and her husband Gary have two daughters. Tara and husband Jairo have twin boys, Christian and Nicholas, and Leah who is currently attending St. Ambrose University. The Perez family have been housing RoughRiders since the 2001 season.