COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey announced today that Joel Johnson (White Bear Lake, Minn.), associate head coach of the University of Minnesota women's ice hockey team, has been named head coach of the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team for the 2016-17 season.
“Joel has played a significant role in our success over the last few seasons and will once again guide the development of our players,” said Reagan Carey, director of women’s hockey at USA Hockey. “We look forward to his continued contributions and helping our players reach their fullest potential."
Johnson will lead the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team at the 2016 Women's Under-18 Series against Canada in Calgary, Alberta, from August 18-21, and at the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women's World Championship that is anticipated to take place in early 2017.
He will also participate at the USA Hockey Girls' Under-18 Select Camp that will take place June 24-30, at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, and the USA Hockey Girls' Under-18 Player Development Camp (July 9-15) and Girls' 15 Player Development Camp (July 18-24) that are taking place at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Johnson is serving as head coach of the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team for the third consecutive season after leading Team USA to the gold medal at both the 2015 and 2016 IIHF Under-18 Women's World Championships. Johnson has additional experience with USA Hockey as a member of the coaching staff for the 2012 IIHF Under-18 Women's World Championship and a pair of Women's Under-18 Series (2013-14). He has also served as a coach at various U.S. Women's Select Festivals.
"It's been a pleasure serving as the head coach of the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team the last few seasons and having the kind of growth and success that we'll look to duplicate moving forward," said Johnson. "I thoroughly enjoy working with our young players and look forward to representing USA Hockey for the upcoming season."
Johnson completed his 11th season as an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota in 2015-16, helping the women’s hockey team capture the national championship for the second consecutive season in its fifth-straight appearance in the championship game.
During two stints, Johnson has been a part of six national titles (2000, 2004, 2012-13, 2015-16) with the Golden Gophers. He originally served as an assistant coach from 1999-2004 and returned to the University of Minnesota in the same capacity in 2010-11 after a six-year hiatus.
Johnson also spent six seasons coaching at Bethel University from 2004-10, including three years as the men's hockey head coach. Along with his men's hockey responsibilities, he was also the men's and women's golf coach and prior to that was the soccer coach where he earned MIAC Coach of the Year honors.
NOTES: Reagan Carey (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey's director of women's hockey, is the general manager of the 2016-17 U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team ... Approximately 30 players will be invited to the U.S Women's National Under-18 Evaluation Camp August 5-15, in Lake Placid, New York. The camp will culminate with the selection of a 22-player roster that will represent the U.S. in a three-game series against Canada from August 20-23 in Calgary, Alberta ... The IIHF Under-18 Women's World Championship is scheduled to be played for the 10th time and will include teams from Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. The dates and location of the tournament will be announced in the near future. Team USA, the reigning world champion, captured gold in each of the first two years of the tournament (2008, 2009) and again in 2011, 2015 and 2016 ... The team has taken home the silver medal in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014.