Paul Martin, a defenseman on the Gophers' NCAA championship hockey teams in 2002 and '03, is joining coach Bob Motzko's staff as undergraduate assistant coach.

The Elk River native, collegiate All-America and 14-year NHL player will assist the Gophers on and off the ice while finishing his bachelor's degree as part of the Gopher Grad program.

Motzko is excited to have Martin, 39, tutor a defensive group that features high-end sophomores Ryan Johnson and Jackson LaCombe, plus freshmen Brock Faber, Mike Koster and Carl Fish.

"He's just got a cool, cool demeanor about him that's really going to rub off on our players," Motzko said of Martin, "and with he and Rabs [assistant coach Garrett Raboin, a former St. Cloud State defenseman] putting their hands on that young 'D' corps, there's some magic there."

Motzko, whose team began individual skills instruction sessions on Monday, said Martin is expected to join the team next week after COVID-19 testing.

Martin retired in 2018 after a 14-year NHL career with New Jersey, Pittsburgh and San Jose.

Randy Johnson

Protest of U cutting teams set

A group called Save Gophers Sports announced a student march Wednesday against the athletic department's plans to cut the men's tennis, gymnastics and track and field teams. The group plans to march from the Athletes Village to Morrill Hall at 2 p.m.

Two tied for Senior Am lead

Defending champion Leif Carlson, of Keller Golf Club, shot an even-par 72 to tie John Anderson, of Bunker Hills GC, for the first-round lead in the 99th MGA Senior Amateur Championship at Burl Oaks GC in Minnetrista.