Courtesy Kevin Conway, MSOE Sports Information
MILWAUKEE – Graham Johnson has been named head coach of the MSOE hockey team, director of athletics Brian Miller announced Thursday.
Johnson had been the head coach of the New York Apple Core of the Eastern Hockey League. He takes over as just the fourth head coach in program history following the retirement of Mark Ostapina after 17 seasons in May.
"I am very excited to offer Graham his first college head coaching job here at MSOE," Miller said. "During the interview process, he emerged as the right candidate to take our program forward. He has ample head coaching experience at the juniors level while establishing a strong background in the college game at both the Division I and Division III levels."
Johnson has spent the last two seasons leading the Apple Core, taking over a team that won just six games in 2015-16. He guided the squad to 14 wins the next season and posted a 23-18-9 record in 2017-18. His team has won a first-round playoff series in each of his two seasons while sending 11 players to Division III teams across the nation.
"I am humbled and honored to become the head ice hockey coach at the Milwaukee School of Engineering," Johnson said. "I would like to thank Brian Miller, Tim Valley, and the entire search committee for this tremendous opportunity. I am excited to become a member of the MSOE family and continue the tradition of Raider hockey."
Johnson has spent five seasons on staff with Division I programs at Massachusetts, American International College, and Quinnipiac. He also coached at Division III Hamilton for two seasons, helping the Continentals to a combined 29-16-6 record and the 2011 NESCAC Regular Season Championship.
At the junior hockey level, Johnson also served as the head coach and general manager of the Connecticut Nighthawks and was an assistant and interim head coach with the Des Moines Buccaneers.
Johnson graduated from the University of Rhode Island with his bachelor's degree in psychology. While at URI, he was a four-year member of the highly-successful club hockey team from 2003-07. He helped the Rams to the 2006 ACHA Division I National Championship and a top-five ranking each year. The team went 139-18-6 (.871) in his four seasons, including 55-1 in league play, as he scored 53 points on 10 goals and 43 assists in 116 games as a defenseman.
MSOE went 11-14-2 last season, taking fourth in the NCHA South Division and qualifying for the Harris Cup Playoffs. The Raiders posted wins over No. 1 St. Norbert and No. 11 UW-Eau Claire during the season.