Minnesota women’s team associate head coach Joel Johnson, who brings more than two decades of coaching experience and has been involved with the U.S. Women’s National Team program since 2015, was named interim coach of the team Friday night by USA Hockey.
Bob Corkum, who served as head coach of the team since the 2018-19 season, has stepped down from his role.
“Bob put his heart and soul into continuing to build on the legacy of our women’s national team program over the past three seasons and we’re grateful for all he did,” said Katie Million, director of women’s national team programs for USA Hockey, in a statement. “While he’s stepping away, he’ll always be a big part of the USA Hockey family and we’ll certainly miss him.
“We are extremely fortunate to have someone like Joel to step in and guide our team at the world championship. He’s been an important part of our program and is well positioned to help build on the success we’ve enjoyed.”
Johnson has been a longtime contributor to the U.S. women’s program, including guiding the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team to four straight gold medals (2015-18) as head coach at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.
In the 2017-18 season, Johnson served as head coach of the U.S. Under-22 Women’s Select Team at the 2018 U22 Series vs. Canada in Calgary and led Team USA to a three-game sweep.
He made his debut with the U.S. Women’s National Team as an assistant coach in 2018-19 and helped guide the U.S. to its fourth straight Women’s Four Nations Cup that season, as well as the gold medal at the 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Espoo, Finland.
Johnson finished his 16th season on the University of Minnesota bench as associate head coach in 2020-21. He has helped guide the Golden Gophers to six national titles (2000, 2004, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016).
Prior to his time at Minnesota, he spent six seasons (2004-10) coaching at Bethel.
Joining Johnson as part of the U.S. coaching staff are assistant coaches Brian Pothier and Allison Coomey and goaltending coach Alli Altmann.
Team USA will play in the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship May 6-16, in Halifax and Turo, Nova Scotia, seeking a sixth straight gold medal in the event. The U.S. begins its training camp ahead of the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship Saturday in Portland, Maine.
The United States has won the last five IIHF Women’s World Championship titles and captured gold a total of nine times (2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019), including eight of the last nine tournaments.