St. Thomas names Joel Johnson new women's hockey coach |

St. Thomas names Joel Johnson new women's hockey coach

KSTP Sports
Updated: June 10, 2021 05:32 PM
Created: June 10, 2021 04:54 PM

Joel Johnson was introduced as the new head coach of the University of St. Thomas women's hockey program on Thursday.

"This was absolutely perfect for me. When I found out St. Thomas was looking for a new hockey coach, I looked at the qualifications and I felt like I checked all the boxes," Johnson said on Thursday. "To have an opportunity to be a part of a university like this one and have a D-I program where I didn't have to move my family, it was certainly a dream come true."

***To see an extended interview with Joel Johnson, CLICK THE PLAY ICON ABOVE***

Johnson was an assistant head coach for the University of Minnesota for a total of 16 seasons before making this move over to St. Thomas.

Johnson helped lead Minnesota to six national titles in his two tenures with the Gophers. Johnson returned to the Gophers’ bench for the 2010-11 season after previously serving as an assistant coach from 1999-2004. In between his two stints at Minnesota, Johnson served as the head coach at Bethel.

Johnson has another big-time job: He was named the interim head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team in April.

A 1996 graduate of Bethel with a degree in physical education and minors in health education and coaching, Johnson was a three-sport athlete for the Royals and earned four letters in soccer, hockey and baseball. Johnson served as a captain for all three teams and won all-conference and all-region awards during his career, along with team most valuable and most inspirational player awards.

Johnson replaces Tom Palkowski, who had a 214-97-40 record with the Tommies.

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