Bill Butters’ replacement has been found.
Mike Eaves announced Friday morning that former Badger defenseman Matt Walsh will serve as the Wisconsin (1-5-2, 1-3-2 WCHA) men’s hockey team’s interim assistant coach for the remainder of the 2012-13 season.
Walsh played for Wisconsin from 1982-86 and was a member of the 1983 national championship team as a freshman. With defensive roots in the program, Walsh will take over defensive coaching responsibilities for Wisconsin — the position Butters left vacant Nov. 7.
“We are really excited to have Matt come aboard,” Eaves said in a press release Friday. “He is an alumni and a disciple of Grant Standbrook. He comes in as a defense-minded coach, having played that position as a Badger.
“I’ve gotten to know Matt a little bit through Wisconsin hockey. He’s been very involved in high school hockey and has coached in Wisconsin. Being an [alumnus], he’s got deep roots. He’s very excited about coming to this program and helping us move forward.”
Walsh has served as the coach-in-chief for USA Hockey’s Central District since 1995, coordinating seminars for USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program across a six-state area.
Walsh’s coaching resume is extensive, as he served as head coach of Team Wisconsin from 1991-96 and in 1998 and 1999. He was also an assistant coach from 1988-90. From 1994-96 he also served as the head coach of Stoughton High School’s hockey program.
In his press release, Eaves made clear the coaching search was a lengthy one. According to the UW head coach, much thought and effort went into finding Walsh, but they also worked at a steady pace because they did not want the position to remain open for too long to avoid putting an extra burden on both Eaves and assistant coach Gary Shuchuk.
Walsh started working with the Badgers Friday when they hosted Minnesota State (3-5-2, 1-5-0) Friday and Saturday. Walsh’s position only lasts through April, when the program will reopen a national search to find a permanent assistant coach, according to the UW Athletic Department.