Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/23/13
ST. PAUL, Minn. University of Minnesota men's hockey coach Don Lucia has had his players, his assistant coaches, and even his own son represent the United States in the World Junior hockey tournament. Now, it's his turn. Lucia was named the head coach of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team during a press conference Saturday at Xcel Energy Center. Lucia will lead the team that will compete in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Mamlo, Sweden. "I'm so excited to have this opportunity," Lucia said Saturday. "When I started coaching many years ago, one of the things I hoped to be able to do was be involved maybe with an Olympic team or U.S. World Junior team. When (general manager Jim Johannson) offered me the opportunity, obviously it's something you're going to jump at." Lucia is in his 14th year as the head coach of the Gophers and led Minnesota to two national championships in 2002 and 2003. Now Lucia has the opportunity to add a gold medal to his resume. Team USA is the defending champion of the World Junior tournament, winning gold this year in Ufa, Russia. The United States also took home gold in 2010 and the bronze medal in 2011. Lucia's son, Mario, was on the United States team this past winter that won gold in Russia. But Lucia said Saturday that Mario will be too old to play on the junior team this year. The roster is comprised of players ages 20 and under, meaning Mario Lucia will miss the cut by one year. Gophers defenseman Mike Reilly and Minnesota assistant coach Grant Potulny both took part in this year's World Juniors tournament, meaning each missed a portion of the Gophers' schedule. Lucia said Saturday that he'll only miss two games when he's gone for Minnesota's Christmas tournament. With close ties to this past World Juniors team, Lucia has plenty of sources to draw from as he prepares for 2014. "They both had a great experience. You have to find your role," Lucia said of Reilly and Potulny. "Even Mario, it wasn't easy for him because he didn't play a lot, but that just goes to show you that whether you're going to be the 13th forward or the first forward, everybody has to have a role, everybody has to accept their role and do their job the best they can do. When you have that, that's when you have the opportunity to be a successful team." Many of the members of Lucia's staff on the World Juniors team are holdovers from this year's team. That includes assistant Dave Lassonde and video coach Dan Muse. New to the staff is St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko and two-time U.S. Olympian Greg Brown, currently an assistant at Boston College. Lucia was asked if he lobbied for the Team USA job. He mentioned that he offered to help with the 2013 team, but Johannson told him they were going in a different direction. Phil Housley served as the coach in Russia, but Lucia was told he might have a shot to lead the 2014 team. Sure enough, Johannson extended the offer to Lucia. "We've had a great relationship with Don. I've always admired the way the players have played that have played for Don," Johannson said. "From our standpoint, it just made a lot of sense for Don to be coaching this hockey team." Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Predators fans throw catfish on ice to celebrate Stanley Cup berth

WATCH: Draymond Green tries just a little to hard to sell foul

Eddie George fires up Predators fans before Game 4 vs Ducks

Viktor Arvidsson had bloody ‘R’ on forehead after hit

Danny Ainge’s son running for congressional seat in Utah

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Wall’s retweet saves fan from taking final exam

WATCH: Cubs pull off two miraculous defensive plays in a row

To raise money for charity, a wrestling fan has Cody Rhodes slam him on thumbtacks

Gregg Popovich on Steve Kerr’s health issues: ‘It’s just a crap situation’

CJ McCollum clearly interested in having Paul Millsap join Blazers

Injuries are depriving us from watching the Spurs thrive in the clutch

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker