Tuesday, March 27 at 1:00 pm, St. Cloud State University Men’s Hockey Coach, Bob Motzko announced his resignation and his move to the Gophers for next season. Motzko, was once an assistant coach for the University of Minnesota from 2001-2005, then returned to SCSU and lead the Men’s Hockey team for thirteen years.
In a press conference held at the University of Minnesota this afternoon, Motzko expressed his enthusiasm about joining the program.
“I am excited and honored for the opportunity to lead Golden Gopher Hockey,” Motzko said.
The newly drafted head coach also relishes on the recognition that the program has and how he will make a contribution to the team as well as the fans.
“The rich history and tradition of this program is honored by so many in our state and around the country. We will work tirelessly to make those people proud.”
This emotional transition leaves not only the team and St. Cloud State University with heavy hearts, but with the community as well. While Motzko had an exemplary performance as a head coach, he was also known for being a part of the alumni group here at SCSU. He is a Minnesota born resident who graduated from St. Cloud State University in 1987. Here, he was also awarded a two-year letter as a member of the university’s hockey team (1984-1986).
At 3:00 pm in the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, Motzko’s home and territory for over a decade, a press conference was held. Those who had attended to comment on the sudden and emotional change were players Blake Lizotte (freshman), Robby Jackson (junior), and SCSU Athletic Director, Heather Weems.
Weems explained the legacy Motzko has made at SCSU over the last thirteen years.
“I always have to start with the student-athletes. He has truly cared about them and has put together a staff that truly cares about them. He has been a developer of student-athletes not only from the skill on ice perspective, but from the mental emotional, and human perspective. I think that is critically important,” she said.
Not only has Motzko helped the progression of hundreds of student-athletes, but above all gave players the opportunity to reach their optimal level of success no matter what level they played.
“He has made dreams happen here. He has made dreams happen for lots of people who have come in whether the final step was collegiate hockey, or whether they moved on to the NHL or some level of play,” Weems said.
Making dreams is an understatement for the significance the coach had made on young players’ lives.
Blake Lizotte, a freshman starter on the team, expressed the emotion felt in the locker room during Motzko’s announcement to the team.
“It was emotional for sure, especially for upperclassmen. Myself, I was emotional and I had only been here for one year. I think for the upperclassmen especially it was more emotional cause they’ve been with Bob for three going on four years, so obviously, it’s an emotional day for everybody and not just the players, but for Bob and his family as well.”
As Lizotte had stated, for juniors and seniors like Robby Jackson, the announcement was very shocking and was a lot to process at first.
“There was a lot of silence. It was weird because we usually end meeting where everyone just kind of claps and that’s the end of the meeting.”
Jackson also touched on Motzko’s comparison to how he would be leaving the juniors and seniors just as they would leave him someday, but that this situation is far different.
“You know you’re gonna leave the coach, but you never really expect the coach to leave you.”
Huskies Athletics is now on an immediate search to find a new head coach for the upcoming season. Updates will be given by the athletic department as soon as possible.
Bethanie is a junior at St. Cloud State and is a mathematics education major with minors in mass communications and special education. This year, she is the Managing Editor for the University Chronicle, a director for in house productions at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center and a math tutor. She enjoys writing, rock concerts, and serving her community and fellow students.