Assistant Motzko leaves Gophers for St. Cloud State job

by Aaron Blake

Minnesota men’s hockey assistant coach Bob Motzko is leaving the Gophers to become an assistant at St. Cloud State, Huskies Athletics Director Morris Kurtz announced Tuesday.

Motzko, a St. Cloud State alumnus, now lines himself up to replace current coach Craig Dahl, who has been speculated as being on his way out after 18 years at the helm.

Motzko officially returns to his alma mater June 13.

Minnesota coach Don Lucia said the 44-year-old Motzko is likely to succeed Dahl soon.

“This is the way they wanted to do it – bring a guy in and then have him take over,” Lucia said. “If that’s the way St. Cloud wanted to do it and Bob wanted to be the head coach, he had to do it that way. He did a lot of great things for our program, and I’m sure he’ll do a lot of great things at St. Cloud as well.”

Dahl said in a statement that he and Motzko, who worked together when they were both assistants under Herb Brooks in St. Cloud in 1986-87, often talked about Motzko returning to the Huskies.

“I firmly believe we have added one of the top assistant coaches in the nation to our program,” Dahl said. “And I’m delighted that Bob will once again be part of Husky hockey.”

Motzko, who could not be reached for comment, was an assistant with the Gophers since 2001. Before then, he was coach and general manager of Sioux Falls of the USHL, and he has also held assistant positions at Miami (Ohio) and Denver.

Lucia said he expects to find a replacement within two weeks.

“I have a very short list of a couple guys that I’m looking at right now,” he said.