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Wisconsin hockey: UW to retire Mark Johnson’s jersey on Feb. 9

Mark Johnson is the first hockey player to have his sweater retired at UW.

Wisconsin announced on Thursday that Johnson will have his No. 10 jersey bearing his name retired up into the rafters of the Kohl Center on Feb. 9.

UW did confirm that the No. 10 will still be available in circulation for players to wear.

Johnson is highly respected among the UW athletics and hockey communities. As the all-time leading goal scorer in men’s hockey history, he scored 125 goals in 125 games. He won a national championship for the Badgers as a player in 1977 as a freshman.

On Team USA, he beat the Russians by scoring two goals in the 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’ game.

Of course, he currently is the winningest coach in women’s hockey history and has coached the Badgers to four national titles. He also claimed four national coach of the year honors and has guided the Wisconsin women’s hockey program to seven WCHA regular-season and tournament championships. He also has coached five Badgers who have won the Patty Kazmaier Award, given as the national player of the year.

“When I heard the news, I was very excited and certainly humbled by being recognized this way,” Johnson said via the distributed release. “It is certainly a big, big honor.

”I feel very fortunate that I had an opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream. I remember being a stick boy when I was eight or nine and watching Badger hockey for a lot of years on the bench hoping one day I would get to wear the jersey and play for the University of Wisconsin. I got the opportunity to do that and have great memories. This is going to be a great memory that I am extremely proud of and certainly my family is very proud of. It is going to be a very special night and I am looking forward to it. I can’t be more appreciative.”

In early February, you will see his name and number in the rafters at the Kohl Center, hanging above the rink named after his father, Badger Bob Johnson.

”It is difficult to come up with someone who has made the kinds of contributions to the University of Wisconsin and the world of hockey as Mark Johnson and we are fortunate we get to recognize everything he has accomplished on and off the ice,” Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said in the release. “His years as a student-athlete and coach, as well as his international and professional playing and coaching careers makes us proud and happy that we can celebrate his legacy.”

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