St. Cloud, MN- St. Cloud State Athletics will announce via a press conference today that Brett Larson has been installed as the third head men’s hockey during the Division I era at SCSU. Larson, 45, was most recently an assistant hockey coach at 2017-18 National Champion University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. A graduate of Duluth Denfeld High School, Larson played defense for the Bulldogs from 1991-92 to 1994-95. Following his playing days at UMD Larson played professional hockey in various leagues including the ECHL, IHL, WCHL and three years in Europe.
Larson began his coaching career in 2008-09 as an assistant with the UMD Bulldogs. After three season, he assumed the head coaching position for the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League where he compiled a 52-60-0 record. He then moved on to Ohio State University as Associate head coach for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 season helping to recruit some of the players on the 2017-18 Frozen Four Buckeye team. He then returned to UMD and most recently has been a member of the staff for two seasons. Larson has been a member of the coaching staff for both the 2011 and 2018 National Championship Bulldog squads. Additionally, Larson, served as the head coach for gold medal-winning Team USA at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge. He captained the Bulldogs during his senior year in 1994-95 when he attained Western Collegiate Hockey Association All-Academic Team recognition for a third straight time and also landed the team’s Community Service Award. Selected in the 11th round by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1990 National Hockey League draft, Larson went on to skate 12 years in the professional ranks, including two (1990-2001) as a player-coach with the San Diego Gulls of the now-defunct West Coast Hockey League. He also did time with the Colonial Hockey League’s Madison Monsters, the East Coast Hockey League’s Louisville Riverfrogs, the International Hockey League’s Utah Grizzlies, Las Vegas Thunder and Long Beach Ice Dogs in addition to spending another five years in Denmark, Germany and England. He wrapped up his playing days in 2006-07 as a player/assistant coach for the Florida Seals of the Southern Professional Hockey League before that Orlando-based franchise folded at mid-season.
Scott Sandelin told the Duluth News Tribune “I brought him out of pharmaceutical sales to come and coach and the next thing you know he’s a head coach in Sioux City,” Sandelin said Tuesday of when he first hired Larson in 2008. “He’s a good people person. He’s really grown. I remember when he came in. He was still learning the ropes. That’s the good thing about coaching. He’s had some different experiences. He knows what it is to be a head coach having done Sioux City. I think that’s important when you look at moving on and potentially being a head coach. It’s a little different when you’re sitting in that chair vs. being an assistant.”
Steve Rohlik, Head coach at Ohio State University remarked “(He’s) A guy that cares, a guy that’s honest, a guy that the guys buy into,” Rohlik said about Larson prior to the Frozen Four. “He can walk out, sit in your living room, and you know he cares about you. He’s going to go out there and work hard. He gets along with everybody. In this business, there’s no off button and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to go out there and win.”
Larson replaces Bob Motzko who skippered the Huskies for 13 seasons before accepting the head coaching position at the University of Minnesota in late March. And thus, a new era begins for the 2018-19 season with the hiring of Larson.
KVSC Interview: LISTEN HERE
AM 1240 Press Conference: LISTEN|WATCH HERE
SCSU Athletics: Behind the Scenes With Brett Larson
Jim Erickson: Sit Down With Brett Larson