Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Old Rivals

Today, I read an excellent blog by Mick Hatten (who has taken Kevin Allenspach's position as Husky Hockey writer for the St. Cloud Times) about our new assistant coach Steve Johnson. The title of the article is "More on new SCSU men's hockey assistant Steve Johnson" and talks about Johnson's few years "away" from coaching , his old rivalry with head coach Bob Motzko, and the phenomenon of coaches going from USHL positions to college positions. Growing up in Sioux Falls, I am a huge Sioux Falls Stampede fan so I was naturally most interested in the quotes about Motzko being a former USHL coaching rival with Johnson. Coach Johnson was coaching for the Lincoln Stars while Coach Motzko was the head coach of the Sioux Falls Stampede. Below is a quote from Coach Motzko about their USHL rivalry:
"We both had some great teams and if I had a head (college) coaching job and there was an opening (for an assistant), I wouldn't have hired him back then because we were rivals," Motzko said. "When I got back into college hockey, I had to recruit some of his players and we became friends and I have a lot of respect for him as a coach and what he's been able to accomplish."
And a quote from Coach Johnson about their USHL past:
"We both had good teams and high-end players and we were real competitive," he said. "I didn't have a friendship with him back in the United States Hockey League, but we've become friends and I've had many players play for him (since)."
Despite Coach Johnson being a former rival of the Sioux Falls Stampede and Coach Motzko, I am glad to have him on board with the Huskies now.

*Additionally the article talks about the new roles of coaches in St. Cloud. Coach Mike Gibbons will now be working closely with defense (his original area of expertise). Coach Steve Johnson will be working closely with forwards (a position he had excellent experience with while playing for UND.)

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