Mack Motzko, son of Minnesota Gopher men's hockey head coach, killed in car accident

The oldest son of the Minnesota Gophers men's hockey coach was killed in a Saturday night car accident in Orono, Minn., near Lake Minnetonka.

Mack Motzko portrait.jpg
Mack Motzko was a 2020 graduate of St. Cloud Cathedral, where he played in two state tournaments for the Crusaders boys hockey team. He was killed in a car accident in Orono, Minn., on Saturday, July 24, 2021. Mick Hatten/The Rink Live

Mack Motzko, the 20-year-old son of Minnesota Gophers head coach Bob Motzko, died following a car accident late Saturday, July 24. Police say he was a passenger in a vehicle with two other occupants, one of which died at the scene.

The University of Minnesota Athletic Department released a brief statement on Sunday morning.

"We are devastated for Bob, Shelley, their family and all involved," said Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle. "This is an unimaginable tragedy, and we will do everything we can to support those affected. We ask for privacy for the families, as they mourn the loss of loved ones."


A 2020 graduate of St. Cloud Cathedral High School, Motzko played in two state hockey tournaments for the Crusaders and spent last season with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL and with the New Mexico Ice Wolves of the NAHL. Mack played his junior season of high school hockey at Minnetonka, after the Motzko family moved to the Twin Cities in 2018 when Bob was hired as the Gophers' coach.

At 11:47 p.m. on Saturday night, Orono police reported a fatal accident at the intersection of North Shore Drive and Bohns Point Road. The initial report had one person deceased at the scene and two others with serious injuries. A previous police release said they were responding to a single-vehicle accident at 3120 North Shore Drive in Orono. A vehicle traveling at high speed left the road and struck several trees.

A 24-year-old passenger in the front seat died at the scene. A 51-year-old driver and Motzko, who was in the back seat, sustained critical injuries and were transported to North Memorial Medical Center. Motzko later died at the hospital.

The press release noted that alcohol and speed appear to be contributing factors in the crash, and the case is still under investigation.

Mack Motzko waiting.jpg
St. Cloud Cathedral senior forward Mack Motzko waits for his turn in a drill during practice on Monday, March 2, 2020, at Municipal Athletic Complex in St. Cloud, Minn. Motzko, the son of University of Minnesota men's hockey coach Bob, has 56 goals and 139 points in 109 career high school games going into this week's Class A state tournament. (Mick Hatten/The Rink Live)

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, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
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