Wisconsin has named Matt Walsh as interim assistant coach through the end of April 2013, when the position will reopen for a national search to find a permanent assistant coach, according to a school-issued press release Friday.
Walsh replaces Bill Butters, who left the Badgers on Nov. 7.
Walsh will help recruit for the Badgers, but must pass his NCAA recruiting test before getting out on the road, noted the release.
A member of Wisconsin’s 1983 NCAA championship team, Walsh has been the coach-in-chief for USA Hockey’s Central District since 1995 where he has been responsible for coordinating seminars for USA Hockey’s coaching education program over a six-state area.
“We are really excited to have Matt come aboard,” said UW head coach Mike Eaves in a statement. “He is an alumni and a disciple of Grant Standbrook. He comes in as a defense-minded coach, having played that position as a Badger. I’ve gotten to know Matt a little bit through Wisconsin hockey. He’s been very involved in high school hockey and has coached in Wisconsin. Being an alumni, he’s got deep roots. He’s very excited about coming to this program and helping us move forward.”
Throughout his time with USA Hockey, Walsh has also served as an evaluator for various USA Hockey Select 15, 16 and 17 teams and has co-coached Select 15 and 16 district teams.
Walsh has also coached with Team Wisconsin and at Stoughton High School.
“This has been a process,” Eaves added. “It was not done overnight. We had a lot of phone calls. We had a lot of emails. We went through our entire list, scoping it down to a group and then talking in person, or via Skype or traveling somewhat and meeting with the people we thought would be serious candidates. Once doing that, we had to go through a background check and get it approved by the administration up on the hill.
“I think we’ve moved diligently, but at a good pace to get this done because we can’t have this hole exist too long. We need to get another coach in here so we don’t fall behind in any of the areas we do as coaches.”