COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Bob Motzko (St. Cloud, Minn./St. Cloud State University), who guided the U.S. National Junior Team to its fourth-ever gold medal at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Montreal and Toronto, Canada, will return as head coach for the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team, it was announced today by USA Hockey exclusively on NHL Network. USA Hockey also announced today that Motzko will be joined by the entire 2017 U.S. coaching staff in assistant coaches Greg Brown (Scituate, Mass./Boston College), Grant Potulny(Minneapolis, Minn./Northern Michigan University), Kris Mayotte (Pittsburgh, Pa./Providence College) and Steve Miller (Littleton, Colo./Air Force Academy).
“It’s terrific to have this staff return with Bob at the helm,” said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director for hockey operations at USA Hockey, who will also serve as general manager of the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team. “We’re looking forward to having the tournament on our home soil and it will be a real benefit to have an experienced coaching staff lead us in our quest to repeat last year’s gold-medal performance.”
The 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship is set for Buffalo, New York, from Dec. 26, 2017 – Jan. 5, 2018, and will include the first ever outdoor game in tournament play when the United States takes on Canada at New Era Field on Dec. 29.
Motzko, who led the U.S. to a gold medal in his international head coaching debut, aims to lead the U.S. to back-to-back gold medal finishes for the first time ever.
“I’m deeply honored that USA Hockey has asked me and my staff to lead the United States in this event once again,” said Motzko. “While winning gold was special, the opportunity to win gold on home ice is even more enticing. We’re excited to work together again and begin our journey towards another gold medal at our National Junior Evaluation Camp in August.”
Head men’s ice hockey coach of his alma mater, St. Cloud State University, Motzko is representing the United States for a third time. In addition to his gold-medal head coaching performance last year, Motzko served as an assistant coach for the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team at the IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden.
In his 12 seasons at the helm of St. Cloud State, the 2014 NCHC Coach of the Year and two-time WCHA Coach of the Year (2007, 2006), has produced seven 20 or more win seasons; seven NCAA tournament appearances; one NCAA Frozen Four appearance; two regular-season conference titles (one each: WCHA, NCHC); and one NCHC Frozen Faceoff Championship. M
NOTES: NHL Network is the exclusive television home of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in the United States … Bob Motzko (St. Cloud, Minn.) is the first U.S. National Junior Team coach to coach in back-to-back IIHF World Junior Championships since Keith Allain did so in 2001 and 2002 … Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey’s assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the ninth consecutive year … Approximately 40 players will attend the 2017 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, this August. Invitees to the camp will be announced in the coming months.