Men's hockey coach Craig Dahl gone after nearly two decades
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Craig Dahl, men's hockey coach at SCSU for the last 19 years, recently announced his decision to leave coaching for work in the private sector. SCSU Assistant Coach Bob Motzko '87 has assumed the head coaching duties until a national search for a coach is completed.
Dahl joined the Huskies as an assistant coach to Herb Brooks in 1986, taking the top position a year later. He was the guiding force behind the university's move to the NCAA Division I level in 1987-88, and helped establish SCSU as one of the premiere Division I hockey programs in the nation. He also earned praise for his emphasis on the student-athlete, for whom academics must come first.
Motzko was a two-year varsity letter winner for the Husky hockey team before his graduation in 1987. He began his coaching career at SCSU, working as an assistant coach to Brooks before taking the same post with Dahl. When Motzko rejoined the Husky program this fall, Dahl said: "I firmly believe that we've added one of the top assistant coaches in the nation to our program."
As head coach of the North Iowa Huskies, Motzko led the squad to a U.S. Junior A national championship and was named 1989 U.S. Hockey League Coach of the Year. When Motzko was head coach of the Sioux Falls Stampede he led them to a 77-31-6 record in the team's first two seasons in the USHL. At Sioux Falls, 26 players moved on to college programs around the United States, including SCSU standouts Mike Doyle, Joe Jensen and Dave Iannazzo.
As a men's hockey assistant coach at the University of Minnesota, Motzko was part of two NCAA Division I national championship teams and helped the Gophers win two West Central Hockey Association playoff crowns. His four recruiting classes at Minnesota were considered among the best in the nation, as they produced a Hobey Baker Award winner, three first team All-Americans, two second team All-Americans and many All-WCHA honorees.
Motzko, a native of Austin, Minn., and his wife Shelley are the parents of three children.