University of Wisconsin women's hockey coach Mark Johnson says there's no bigger stage than the Olympics and it will be a special journey when he coaches Team USA in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

The 51-year-old Johnson was named to the post Wednesday. He said his most memorable achievement was playing on the 1980 Olympic men's team, which upset the Soviet Union on its way to winning a gold medal.

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Johnson will start a year-long assignment as soon as Wisconsin's current season is over. He'll spend most of his time in Minnesota's Twin Cities, where the U.S. team will train in suburban Blaine.

Johnson is in his seventh year at the UW, where his teams have won back-to-back national titles. Assistants Tracey Cornell and Dan Koch will coach the Badgers while Johnson is gone.