Three left for U hockey vacancy

Matthew Cross

The University’s women’s athletics department announced earlier this week the names of three finalists who could be the first Gophers women’s hockey coach when the inaugural season opens next fall.
Bill Butters, Tom Osiecki and Laura Halldorson will each be interviewed separately by the search committee, compliance coordinator Jeff Schemmel, director of academic counseling Elayne Donahue, director of development Holly Callen and women’s athletics director Chris Voelz.
Halldorson will be the last of the three to be interviewed this week. The final decision, however, is not expected to be made until early next week.
Here’s an overview of each prospective coach:

Bill Butters:
Butters was an assistant coach under men’s hockey coach Doug Woog for 10 years until the end of the 1995 season. He was in charge of the Gophers’ defense.
The White Bear Lake native played three years in the NHL as a defenseman, including a two-year stint with the Minnesota North Stars. He was also a defenseman for the Gophers from 1969-1973. In his playing days, he was known for his grit-your-teeth style.
Butters is currently coaching at Bethel College where his son Ben is playing. He also coached the women’s Team Minnesota hockey squad over the summer.

Tom Osiecki:
Osiecki is currently the girls’ hockey coach at Burnsville High School. His team beat Apple Valley for the Section 2 title last spring and advanced to the state finals before losing to Roseville Area, 5-2.
He coached the boys’ hockey team from 1966-1990. If hired, Osiecki will miss his 30th season at Burnsville.

Laura Halldorson:
Halldorson is the women’s hockey coach at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. She is also the assistant athletics director and the senior women’s administrator there.
She graduated from Wayzata High School and will round out the interviewing on Thursday.