Memorable Motzko

Some highlights of Bob Motzko’s first Gophers news conference:

On St. Cloud State:

“It was just a wonderful 13 years. Life-changing — not just for myself but my family as well. I’m forever grateful. We raised our kids there — youth hockey, baseball, lacrosse, soccer, you name it — we’ve been a part of it up there. I have to thank them because we were truly blessed for everything that happened there.”

On being a Gopher

“This is my third and final stop at the University of Minnesota. I came here in 1981 as an aspiring hockey player. Brad (Buetow) cut me. So I was going to leave. That summer he recruited me to come back here — and he cut me again. 

“Frank Serratore, the head coach at Air Force, called me yesterday and said ‘Nobody deserves this job more than Bob Motzko, since Brad Buetow cut you twice.’

On Don Lucia

“Everything in our lives is about relationships, and Don Lucia is not just a colleague, he’s a dear friend of mine. He and Joyce and their entire family, I’ve stayed close with them and I’m grateful for Don bringing me back into the fold in 2002 (as an assistant) and having that relationship.”

On tradition, competition

“The history and tradition of Gopher hockey is one of the greatest in the country. It’s part of the culture and the fabric of this state. And college hockey has never been stronger in the state of Minnesota, and we have to embrace that. We have to embrace the fact that we are doing such a wonderful job with our youth hockey associations and high school programs and we are beneficiaries of that.”

On Gophers alumni

“I am blown away over the last few days all of the text messages, phone calls, emails that I’ve gotten from our alumni. I’m here to work for them. I’m here to work with them. Their importance to this program is unmeasurable. We need to build this together, we need to enjoy this together and we need to celebrate this great university and this hockey program together, and I look forward to a very healthy and strong relationship with our alumni as we move forward.”

On his team

“We’re going to do it the right way. We are going to be strong in the classroom, we’re going to strive to be outstanding citizens and we’re going to play the game the right way. We’re going to be fast, we’re going to be skilled, and we’re going to add a whole lot of toughness to the way we play this sport.

On taking the job

“The process — I mean, I’m just a regular guy. It’s overwhelming how fast it is. We played Friday night, and we had a pretty good hockey team, and we got beat, and your heart’s ripped out. Saturday morning I got a phone call, and it went fast. It’s Thursday. That’s not a long time. So it went very fast. We met Sunday night with a small group, and — I mean, just good people. That was the first thing you realize. You want to be around good people.”

On getting to work

“I’m more excited to get started and get away from a microphone. I’m a hockey coach. I want to get to work and can’t wait to get started.”