There’s truly no place like home, and that feeling apparently runs deep for new Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey associate head coach Mark Strobel. On Tuesday afternoon the school announced Strobel’s hire as of July 1, 2017.
His move to the Badgers bench is certain to raise a few eyebrows. After all, he basically held the same role with the Ohio State Buckeyes this past season. But, if there was anyone who gets the pull of being a part of Badgers hockey it was his boss at OSU — former Badgers captain Steve Rohlik.
So, with Rholik’s blessing Granato spoke to Strobel and in the end it was the push of coming to the place he calls home that won him over to the Badgers bench.
“It’s where my heart has always been,” he said.
“It’s a special place, that’s all I can say. It’s family to me.”
Strobel replaces Tony’s brother, Don, who left to take an assistant coach job with the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL. Again, a job that was just too good to pass up.
In bringing Strobel in to the fold, Granato doesn’t need to catch him up on what a special place UW is. After all, Strobel was a two-year captain for the Badgers (’93-95) and joins his boss as former captains to be on the bench this upcoming season.
Granato is excited to bring a coach with his energy in to the program.
“He’s a guy you want to be around,” Granato said of Strobel in a press release from the Badgers. “Every time you see Mark Strobel you see a happy, energetic, passionate guy that loves life, loves hockey, loves the Badgers and has always been a big part of our program.
“He’s a phenomenal person, a great coach, who’s going to add a lot to our program.
“He’s one of those guys you meet one time and you feel like you’ve known him your whole life.”
Strobel’s ties to the Badgers aren’t just on the ice either. In between coaching stints, Strobel has worked behind the scenes as part of the W Club and also in raising money for LaBahn Ice Arena.
It’s safe to say few coaches in the country have the passion of Strobel for the school he is coaching. We’ll see if that also leads to success on the ice as well.