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Minnesota Gophers assistant, Detroit Lakes native Garrett Raboin tabbed to start Augustana hockey program

After a decade as an assistant coach with Bob Motzko, first at St. Cloud State and now with the Gophers, Garrett Raboin is getting the opportunity of a lifetime, heading to Sioux Falls to start the new Augustana men's hockey program.

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After four seasons as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Gophers, Garrett Raboin was announced as the first head coach of the new Division I men's hockey program at Augustana on Monday, April 18, 2022.
Jim Rosvold / University of Minnesota Athletics
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Some of the most important coaching experience Bob Motzko gained prior to running the college programs at St. Cloud State and Minnesota came during the three seasons he spent as head coach and general manager of the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede. Motzko’s long-time assistant coach and protege Garrett Raboin is soon to head to Sioux Falls for his biggest coaching opportunity.

On Monday morning, April 18, Augustana University named Raboin the first head coach in the history of their new Division I men’s hockey program, which is set to begin play in the fall of 2023. Raboin, who turned 37 on the day the Gophers clinched their trip to the 2022 NCAA Frozen Four, has been a Gophers assistant coach and chief recruiter under Motzko for the past four seasons, and prior to that worked and played for Motzko at SCSU.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to have been chosen as the first leader of Augustana Men’s Hockey,” Raboin said, in a statement released by the school. “This is the right time, at the right university, with the right leadership, to bring Division I college hockey to South Dakota. My family and I are excited to become a part of the Sioux Falls community, we can’t wait!”

Originally, from Detroit Lakes, Minn., Raboin played defense for the Huskies from 2006-10, then played professionally in Scandinavia for parts of two seasons. Motzko hired him as an assistant coach in 2012 and they have worked together for the past decade.

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Ground was broken in October 2021 for Midco Arena, a $40 million project on the Augustana campus which will have 3,000 seats for Division I men's hockey.
Contributed / Augustana Athletics

“Garrett Raboin is one of the true rising stars in the hockey world, and Augustana made a terrific choice in selecting him as the first head coach of the Vikings hockey program,” said Motzko, who had been a strong advocate for Raboin to get his own program to run. “I have known Garrett for close to 20 years, and I have an immense amount of pride and respect for the coach and person he has become. He has built a remarkable path as a leader, teacher and recruiter at St. Cloud State and now at Minnesota, and it's certainly special to see his dedication and hard work culminate now with his first head coaching position at Augustana.”

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The Vikings will begin play as a Division I independent in a new building currently under construction on their campus. Midco Arena is a $40 million project which will seat 3,000 for hockey. They will be the first varsity college hockey program in South Dakota. In announcing the addition of hockey, Augustana athletic director Josh Morton stressed their advantageous geographic location with North Dakota to the north, the Colorado schools to the west, Omaha to the south and the Minnesota schools to the east.

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“We started this process looking for someone who can build a nationally competitive men’s hockey program that competes at Division I and we sure found him,” Morton said. “Garrett is a proven winner, excellent recruiter and will help us build community excitement for Augustana hockey. He is a great addition and will add to the excellence of Augustana athletics.”

The school will hold an official introductory press conference on Tuesday, April 19, to welcome Raboin and his family to Sioux Falls. Garrett and his wife Emily have three young children.

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
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