Johnson to be inducted into U.S. Hall of Fame

Former Wisconsin hockey star, current women's coach is one of four inductees

The United States Hockey Hall of Fame announced Sunday that University of Wisconsin women's hockey coach Mark Johnson is one of four inductees to the National Shrine of American Hockey in Eveleth, Minn. Johnson joins Phil Housley, Mike Ilitch, and Paul Cappo in the 2004 class. Formal induction ceremonies will take place Oct. 7 in St. Paul, Minn.

Most famous for his part in the "Miracle on Ice" gold-medal-winning 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team, Johnson is Wisconsin's all-time leading goal scorer and until recently had represented the United States in more international competitions (13) than any other player in history.

Born in Minneapolis, Johnson was raised in Madison, where his father, Bob Johnson, was a legendary coach of the Badgers' men's team from 1966-82. Mark Johnson donned the Badger sweater from 1976-79 and scored a school-record 125 goals to go along with 131 assists. His 256 points are the second highest total in Wisconsin history and his 2.05 points-per-game in his career is a school record. With Johnson in tow, the Badgers won the National Championship in 1977. Johnson had 36 goals and 44 assists in the 1976-77 campaign, becoming the first Badger to win Western Collegiate Hockey Association Rookie of the Year honors. He added 86 points as a sophomore and a school-record 90 as a junior, his final season at Wisconsin.

Johnson led the 1980 Olympic team with 11 points and he scored two goals in the semi-final win over the Soviet Union that enshrined the squad in sports mythology. He went on to play 11 seasons in the NHL for Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Hartford, St. Louis and New Jersey, tallying 508 points (203 goals, 305 assists). He also played two seasons professionally in Europe.

After serving as an assistant coach with the Wisconsin men's hockey team for six seasons, Johnson was named head coach of the women's program in the spring of 2002. In his first two seasons at the helm, the Badgers have gone 47-14-8, winning a school-record 25 games last season and earning a No. 5 national ranking. Johnson also served as an assistant coach at his high school alma mater, Madison Memorial, during the 1993-94 season and was the head coach at Verona (Wis.) Area High School in 1994-95 and head coach of the Madison Monsters of the Colonial Hockey League in 1995-96.

This will be the second time in as many years that Johnson is inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. The entire "Miracle on Ice" team was inducted last year. Johnson is also a member of the State of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame and the National W Club Hall of Fame.

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