MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The University of Minnesota didn’t have to go very far to find its next men’s hockey head coach.

The school announced Tuesday it has hired Bob Motzko as its next head hockey coach. Motzko just recently led St. Cloud State to the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. But St. Cloud State lost to Air Force 4-1 in its first round game.

Motzko just finished his 13th season at St. Cloud State, and led the Huskies to seven NCAA Tournament appearances. He also led St. Cloud State to the WCCHA title in 2013 and the NCHC title in 2014.

A source says Motzko met with his St. Cloud State players Tuesday to tell them he’s leaving for Minnesota.

Motzko will replace Don Lucia, who coached the Gophers for 19 seasons and won two national championships at Minnesota. Lucia stepped down last week after the Gophers missed the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years.

Motzko was an assistant for the Gophers from 2001 to 2005.

He will be introduced at a Thursday afternoon news conference.

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