USA Hockey announced Friday that Bob Motzko (St. Cloud State), who guided the U.S. National Junior Team to its fourth-ever gold medal at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal and Toronto, will return as head coach for the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team.
Motzko will be joined by the entire 2017 U.S. coaching staff in assistant coaches Greg Brown (Boston College), Grant Potulny (Northern Michigan), Kris Mayotte (Providence) and Steve Miller (Air Force).
“It’s terrific to have this staff return with Bob at the helm,” said USA Hockey assistant executive director for hockey operations at USA Hockey and GM of the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team Jim Johannson in a statement. “We’re looking forward to having the tournament on our home soil and it will be a real benefit to have an experienced coaching staff lead us in our quest to repeat last year’s gold-medal performance.”
The 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship is set for Buffalo, N.Y., from Dec. 26, 2017-Jan. 5, 2018, and will include the first ever outdoor game in tournament play when the United States takes on Canada at New Era Field on Dec. 29.
Motzko, who led the U.S. to a gold medal in his international head coaching debut, aims to lead the U.S. to back-to-back gold medal finishes for the first time ever.
“I’m deeply honored that USA Hockey has asked me and my staff to lead the United States in this event once again,” added Motzko. “While winning gold was special, the opportunity to win gold on home ice is even more enticing. We’re excited to work together again and begin our journey towards another gold medal at our National Junior Evaluation Camp in August.”