The ice sheet at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis., will be named “Bob Johnson Rink” in recognition of the coach who guided Wisconsin to three NCAA titles during a career that also included coaching stints in the Olympics, World Championships and the National Hockey League.
“It is a tremendous pleasure for our department to be able to name the Kohl Center ice for Bob Johnson,” UW athletic director Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “I would like to thank the former Badger hockey players, as well as several other individuals, whose generosity has made this announcement possible. It is a well-deserved recognition of a Badger legend.”
During his 15 years at the helm of the Badger program, Johnson coached Wisconsin to seven NCAA tournaments, winning three championships in 1973, 1977 and 1981. He also led the United States at the 1976 Olympics, three Canada Cups (1981, 1984, 1987) and four IIHF Men’s World Championships (1973-75, 1981). He went on to coach the Calgary Flames for five seasons (1982-87) and led the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup title in 1991 before passing away from brain cancer that fall.
Johnson was inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987, United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. He was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.