Motzko to fill men’s assistant hockey coach vacancy early this week

David La Vaque

Bob Motzko, general manager and head coach of the Sioux Falls Stampede, will announce his acceptance of the assistant coach position with the Minnesota’s men’s hockey team at a press conference in Sioux Falls either today or Tuesday, a source close to the process said Saturday.

Motzko will replace John Hill, who took the head coaching position at Alaska-Anchorage, filling the Gophers need for a solid recruiter.

As the only coach in Sioux Falls’ two-year history, Motzko guided the Stampede to a combined 77-31-6 record and two playoff berths. Sioux Falls led the USHL in scoring and power-play proficiency in each of the past two seasons.

Motzko joined Sioux Falls after six years as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator with Miami of Ohio. He served in the same capacity with the University of Denver in 1993-94. Motzko spent four seasons in the USHL as head coach and general manager at North Iowa, leading the Huskies to the 1989 U.S. National Junior “A” championship. Motzko also served as an assistant to Herb Brooks at St. Cloud State.

Motzko’s skills as a recruiter helped him bring a Hobey Baker finalist, two first-team All-Americans and three All-CCHA selection to Miami. The Redhawks won the conference playoff title four times and qualified for the NCAA tournament twice during Motzko’s tenure.

A 1987 graduate of St. Cloud State, Motzko is a native of Austin, Minn., and played college hockey for the Huskies and Gophers.

 

Tharp and Samargia leave

Sophomores Ben Tharp and Pete Samargia both signed their release of scholorship, ending their careers at Minnesota. Both are expected to transfer to Division III colleges within Minnesota, Tharp to St. Thomas and Samargia to Augsburg.

 

Tallackson cleared

Incoming freshman forward Barry Tallackson passed his SAT’s and will be eligible to play in the fall, Minnesota coach Don Lucia said last Friday. The 6-foot-4, 192-pound Tallackson played with the U.S. Development Team for the last two seasons and was named the nation’s top incoming freshman in USA Today’s Red Line Report.

 

Smaagaard in limbo

Incoming freshman forward Garrett Smaagaard will meet with a doctor this Thursday to assess the health of the knee he injured while playing football for Eden Praire high school in last year’s Prep Bowl.

The injury caused Smaagaard to miss the entire hockey season last year.

Lucia said he will evaluate Smaagaard next month at the Sioux Falls try-out camp, and at that time will make a mutual decision with Smaagaard whether to send him to the USHL for a year.

“I don’t want to bring him here to play 10 games,” Lucia said. “That doesn’t help him or us.”

 

Captains selected

Seniors Jordan Leopold and Johnny Pohl and sophomore Grant Potulny were voted team captains for the 2001-2002 season.

 

David La Vaque is the sports editor and welcomes comments at [email protected].