One of the greatest fears for Wisconsin Women's hockey fans is becoming dangerously close to reality. Andy Baggot is reporting that UW Women's head coach Mark Johnson was in Happy Valley this past week to interview for the head coaching opening for Penn State Men's hockey program which is set to start varsity competition for the 2012-2013 season.
As a head coach for the Badgers he has led the program to four national championships (2006, 2007, 2009, 2011). Johnson has been named the WCHA coach of the year five times and the AHCA Division 1 coach of the year four times.
It's not certain whether or not if offered the position at Penn State if Johnson would accept the job. On top of obviously spending a large chunk of his life living in Madison, he also has two daughters who are still in the k-12 system in Madison. Johnson told Baggot, "I'm in limbo right now."
It's also not clear if Johnson is the top candidate at Penn State. Minnesota-Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin, who won the NCAA Men's title with the Bulldogs this season was in Happy Valley late this week to interview. Many have speculated that he is the top candidate for the job. College Hockey News on Friday reported that Penn State will announce their new head coach on Monday.
According to Baggot's report, Barry Alvarez and the UW athletic department will pony up to make Johnson the highest paid women's hockey coach in the country and tell him, "that we want to keep him, that we don't want him to leave, that we appreciate him." Alvarez did note that there is no way they can get into a bidding war with the Nittany Lions for a men's job at Penn State.
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