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Former WCHA commisioner Bill Robertson moves to USHL

Bill Robertson, left, and Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold face the media at a news conference when Robertson was named commissioner of the WCHA in April 2014. (Photo courtesy Bruce Kluckhohn)

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Just a few months after the WCHA men’s league came to an end, its commissioner has found a new gig.

On Friday, the USHL announced that Bill Robertson will become its new president and commissioner. He had been the WCHA president and men’s league commissioner for the past seven seasons.

He was approved Thursday by the USHL Board of Governors to take over for Tom Garrity, who had served that role since November 2017.

“I’ve known and worked with Bill for 20 years and am confident in saying the USHL is in great hands with Bill taking over the roles of president and commissioner,” Garrity said in a WCHA press release. “We had a lot of fantastic candidates for the position but feel Bill’s experience in the sport will help continue to grow the league’s pedigree as one of the best junior hockey leagues in the world.

“I have great respect for Bill as a person and leader and there is no one better to lead the USHL.”

Bill Robertson talks with the media at a news conference when Robertson was named commissioner of the WCHA in April 2014. (Photo courtesy Bruce Kluckhohn)

The USHL is a Tier I junior amateur hockey league for players ages 16 to 21, according to its online Wikipedia entry. It includes the Green Bay (Wisconsin) Gamblers, Muskegon Lumberjacks and the USA Hockey National Team Development Program based out of Detroit.

Some of Robertson’s most notable accomplishments as WCHA commissioner include moving playoff games back to school campuses and introducing a 3-on-3 overtime and shootout format to the league for the first time in its history.

Before working with the WCHA, Robertson helped bring into existence the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Minnesota Wild of the NHL, Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA and Minnesota Swarm of Major League Lacrosse. He also had a hand in bringing about four sporting venues — Xcel Energy Center, Target Center, Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim and Edison International Field.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.

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