MADISON, United States – Mark Johnson has been named the head coach of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team, it was announced on Tuesday by USA Hockey.
Johnson, a long-time veteran of the U.S. program as both a player and coach, is currently in his seventh season as head coach at the women's ice hockey team at the University of Wisconsin. His 80.20 winning percentage coming into the current season is top among active coaches in NCAA Division I.
“Mark is a hockey icon with unmatched experience on the international stage,” said Dave Ogrean, USA Hockey's executive director. “His level of success as both a player and a coach made him an excellent choice for this position. He is well-suited to help our team return to the gold-medal podium in Vancouver.”
Along with the duties of head coach at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Johnson will take the reigns of the U.S. Women's National Team for the 2009 IIHF World Women's Championship, set for April 4-12 in Hämeenlinna, Finland.
In addition, Johnson will guide Team USA during the Qwest Tour, which will feature the 2009-10 U.S. Women's National Team playing 10 games throughout the United States in preparation for the Olympic Winter Games. Further, Johnson and the U.S. squad will take part in the National Women's Invitational Tournament, a test event for the Olympic Winter Games from Aug. 31-Sept. 6 in Vancouver, as well as the 2009 Four Nations Cup in Finland from Nov. 2-8.
“We're extremely happy to have Mark lead our team throughout the next year,” said Michele Amidon, USA Hockey's director of women's hockey. “Through coaching within our U.S. women's national program for the past three years and guiding Wisconsin to record-breaking success, Mark has shown a great ability to connect with the players and lead teams to victory.”
Johnson’s USA Hockey experience includes time both behind the bench and on the ice. He has twice served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men's National Team in the IIHF World Championship (2000, 2002) and also was an assistant coach at the 2001 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Orientation Camp.
Johnson has been involved as a head coach in the U.S. women's national program the past three seasons. In 2006-07, he guided Team USA to a second-place finish at the 2006 Four Nations Cup, as well as the silver medal at the 2007 IIHF World Women's Championship. Johnson was the head coach of the U.S. Women's Under-22 Select Team in 2007-08 and, in 2008-09, he guided the U.S. National Under-18 Team to the gold medal at the 2009 IIHF World Women's U18 Championship in Germany.
Meanwhile, Johnson has represented the United States as a player in 13 international tournaments, including eight world championships. Most notably, he led the 1980 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team to the gold medal, tallying a team-leading 11 points, including two goals in the “Miracle On Ice” game against the Soviet Union. Additionally, Johnson enjoyed an 11-year National Hockey League career, during which time he racked up 508 points in 669 games.
Among his numerous accolades throughout the years, Johnson, the son of legendary coach Bob Johnson, is a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and the IIHF Hall of Fame.