ARDEN HILLS, Minn. — Bethel coach Peter Aus announced his retirement Thursday after 13 seasons as head coach. Athletic director Bob Bjorklund has named assistant coach Joel Johnson to replace Aus.
“Pete Aus has made an impact on Bethel athletics in deeply meaningful ways. He has been a respected leader who has demonstrated what it means to serve others,” said Bjorklund. “The mark he has made on Bethel hockey stands out both in competitive success and development of character. He will be missed by the entire Bethel community.”
During his tenure, Aus developed the program into one of the top in the conference, culminating in this year’s 18-10-1 overall record and 12-3-1 MIAC record, the best finish in Bethel history. The season also marked a string of firsts for the hockey program as the team earned their first ever MIAC regular season championship, MIAC playoff championship, NCAA playoff berth and NCAA playoff win.
Aus posted the most wins of any hockey coach in Bethel history with a career record of 120-191-13 and is the first Bethel hockey coach to reach 100 wins in a career. A two-time MIAC Coach of the Year, he was most recently inducted into the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association (MHCA) Hall of Fame for 30 years of success in the high school and junior high ranks before coming to Bethel. Aus and his wife Kathy, have three adult children and live in Falcon Heights, Minn.
Johnson has served as the hockey team’s top assistant coach since 2004 and was the men’s and women’s head soccer coach through this year. Johnson served as the head assistant coach for the University of Minnesota women’s hockey team for six seasons before coming to Bethel. He is a Bethel alumnus, where he was a three-sport captain in soccer, hockey, and baseball.
“Joel Johnson is a gifted leader with a clear vision for the future of Bethel men’s hockey,” Bjorklund said. “He has been a valuable asset to Bethel athletics as a devoted assistant hockey coach and head soccer coach. His experience at team-building has been outstanding. Joel is widely recognized as a great mentor and students and colleagues alike have benefited from his influence. I am thrilled to have Joel Johnson on board as our next hockey coach.”
Johnson and his wife Shannon live in White Bear Lake, Minn. with their daughter Megan and son Jacob.