STOCKHOLM – Roger Rönnberg will step down as coach of the Swedish national under-20 team next spring. Rönnberg, who led Sweden to its first IIHF World Junior title in 31 years last season in Calgary, will be succeeded by Rikard Grönborg, the coach of the under-18 program.
The announcement was made on Monday morning by Tommy Boustedt, the General Manager of Sweden’s national teams and coincided with men’s national team coach Per Mårts’ announcement of the Tre Kronor team for the upcoming Karjala Cup tournament.
Roger Rönnberg, 41, will try to repeat last year’s IIHF U20 World Championship gold at the 2013 event in Ufa, Russia (December 25, 2012 – January 5, 2013), but at season’s end he will hand over the job to Rikard Grönborg.
Grönborg has led Sweden’s U18 national team for two years. Both in 2011 and in 2012 his squad lost the gold medal game to the United States.
Prior to winning gold in Calgary, on Mika Zibanejad’s OT-goal against Russia, Rönnberg’s record with the U20 program was a fourth-place finish in Buffalo 2011. The upcoming IIHF World Juniors in Ufa, Russia will be his third. Rönnberg took over the U20 job from Per Mårts, the current head coach of the men’s national team.
It was not announced what Rönnberg will do when he steps down next spring, but the 41-year old is rumored as the next head coach of Frölunda Gothenburg of the Swedish Elitserien.
“Rikard Grönborg is the perfect man to take over this job,” said Roger Rönnberg on Monday. “He has been part of our U20 national team program, he knows the job and he knows the players.”
Rikard Grönborg’s first major assignment will be preparing the U20 national team for the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship which will be played in Malmö, Sweden. Grönborg has vast experience from both playing and coaching in North America. He played for St. Cloud State University in the early 90s before becoming a coach at the same college.
Grönborg later coached at University of Wisconsin-Stout, Great Falls Americans (AWHL) and in 2004-2005 he was an assistant coach with the Spokane Chiefs in the Canadian junior league, WHL.
Grönborg has also been part of Roger Rönnberg’s World Junior coaching staff in 2011 and 2012. Click here for video about the Swedish development system featuring Roger Rönnberg.