MADISON, Wis. - Former women's hockey assistant coach Dan Koch is returning to the University of Wisconsin, the team announced on Wednesday. Koch (pronounced Cook) will return and serve as associate head coach after spending the previous two seasons as the head coach for the Shattuck-St. Mary's Girls U16 squad.
"I'm excited to be back and I enjoyed my time with Mark [Johnson] prior to leaving and I'm looking forward to that relationship again," Koch said. "I think my time at Shattuck-St. Mary's made me a better coach. As a head coach, you spend a lot more time dealing with things not always associated with hockey and you get a better sense of running practices and getting the team ready for a weekend series."
Koch is familiar with the UW women's hockey program and Johnson's systems having spent eight seasons as an assistant coach. In 2001-02, Koch spent the latter half of his first season co-coaching the Badgers prior to the arrival of head coach Mark Johnson. In the seven seasons that followed, Koch helped Wisconsin claim its first three national championships.
"We're really excited and fortunate to have Dan come back," Johnson said. "He was instrumental in our success when he was here during his tenure. His relationship with the players and his ability to improve players on and off the ice is something that makes him unique and separates him from a lot of other coaches."
Stepping down from the UW women's hockey team after the conclusion of the 2008-09 season, Koch took the reins of the Shattuck-St. Mary's Girls U16 program where he compiled an overall record of 80-30-12. His first season with the Sabres ended with a Tier I 16-U National title after going 47-7-6 in 2009-10.
Prior to his first appointment with Wisconsin in 2001, Koch spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the women's hockey program at St. Mary's University of Minnesota working with the forwards and goaltenders. While also working as a third-grade teacher at Franklin Elementary School in La Crosse, Wis., Koch helped lead St. Mary's to a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title during the 1990-00 season and a third place finish at the national tournament in 2000-01.
Koch earned his master's degree in education, teaching and learning in 2001 from St. Mary's University after completing his bachelor of science degree in elementary education in December 1991 from the UW. He is a 1985 Madison La Follette High School graduate.
Koch and his wife Jody have three sons: Conner, Jacob, and Malik.