May 20, 2014
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Gopher women's hockey associate head coach Joel Johnson has been named the head coach of the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team for the 2014-15 season, USA Hockey announced Tuesday.
"I'm greatly honored to serve as the head coach of the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team and have always cherished the responsibility that is associated with representing USA Hockey," said Johnson. "My time working here at Minnesota with Coach Frost and Coach Muzerall, along with various USA Hockey coaching roles, has prepared me to represent the best qualities and aspirations of our national program.
"I trust that my past and current coaching experiences have prepared me to work alongside the other national team coaches and staff as we strive towards success at the IIHF World Championships in January."
Joining Johnson as assistant coaches will be Katie Lachapelle (Winthrop, Mass.), assistant women's ice hockey coach at Boston University, and Brent Hill (Troy, N.Y.), assistant women's ice hockey coach at Merrimack College.
The trio will lead the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team at the 2014 Women's Under-18 Series against Canada in Calgary, Alberta, from Aug. 20-24, and at the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women's World Championship that is anticipated to take place in the U.S. in the early part of 2015.
"I am very proud of Joel and happy that he will be coaching the United States Under-18 Team," Gophers head coach Brad Frost said. "He has been instrumental in our program's success, and I know that he will do great things with the U-18 team as well. All of us Gophers support Joel and his quest to help the United States win a gold medal."
Johnson has previous experience with USA Hockey as a member of the coaching staff for the 2012 IIHF Under-18 Women's World Championship and the 2013 Women's Under-18 Series. He has also served as a coach at various U.S. Women's Select Festivals.
"Joel has contributed a great deal at the collegiate level and at recent USA Hockey events to earn this well-deserved opportunity," said Reagan Carey, director of women's hockey at USA Hockey. "This coaching staff brings a varied and unique perspective that will help our players reach their highest potential."
Johnson completed his ninth season at Minnesota in 2013-14, helping lead the Gophers to their third-straight appearance in the national championship game.
During two stints, Johnson has been a part of four national titles (2000, 2004, 2012-13) with the Golden Gophers. He originally served as an assistant coach from 1999-2004 and returned to the University of Minnesota in the same capacity in 2010-11 after a six-year hiatus.
Johnson also spent six seasons coaching at Bethel University from 2004-10, including three years as the men's hockey head coach. Along with his men's hockey responsibilities, he was also the men's and women's golf coach and prior to that was the soccer coach where he earned MIAC Coach of the Year honors.
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