Herbert Paul "Herb" Brooks, Jr. (August 5, 1937–August 11, 2003) was an American coach, best known for coaching the U.S. hockey team to a gold medal at the 1980 Olympics in an event known as the "Miracle on Ice".
On November 13, 2006, Brooks was posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Brooks later played hockey at the University of Minnesota and was a member of the 1964 and 1968 United States Olympic teams. He almost made the 1960 Olympic team, only to be cut the week before the Olympic games started. He then sat at home and watched the team he almost made win gold. Later, he coached the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers to three NCAA Division I championships (1974, 1976, and 1979). After being approached by Michigan Tech when head coach John MacInnes died, Brooks coached St. Cloud State University in the mid-1980s. In Minnesota, many consider Brooks the best hockey coach of all time. In 1980, he became the first coach of the United States to lead his team to victory against the USSR in 20 years.
Brooks was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990.
Brooks later coached in the National Hockey League for the New York Rangers, where he became the fastest coach in Rangers' team history to win 100 games. He also coached the Minnesota North Stars, New Jersey Devils, and Pittsburgh Penguins. He was a long-time head scout for the Penguins from the mid-1990s until the day of his death.
Death and legacyEdit
Brooks died in a single car accident on the afternoon of August 11, 2003, near Forest Lake, Minnesota, on Interstate 35. He was 66. It is believed that Brooks fell asleep behind the wheel before the accident after driving all night, and neither drugs nor alcohol was responsible.
Brooks was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash, and according to the Minnesota State Patrol, it is likely he would have survived the crash if he had been.
Walt Disney Pictures released a film about the 1980 Olympic team in 2004 called Miracle featuring Kurt Russell playing the part of Brooks (Karl Malden had previously played Brooks in a 1981 television film called Miracle on Ice). Brooks served as a consultant for the film, which was completed shortly before his death. At the end of the movie there is a dedication to Brooks. It states at the end, "He never saw it. He lived it."
Upon the 25th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice, the Olympic ice arena in Lake Placid, New York, where the United States won their gold medal, was renamed Herb Brooks Arena. A statue of Brooks depicting his reaction to the victory in the "Miracle" game was erected in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 2003.
An award was created in Herb Brooks name, the Herb Brooks Award, is awarded at the conclusion of the Minnesota State High School League's state hockey tournament to "the most qualified hockey player in the state tournament who strongly represents the values, characteristics, and traits that defined Herb Brooks.
In 2006, Brooks was posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builders category.
Note: GC = Games coached, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OL = Overtime loss, Pts = Points, Pct = Winning percentage
|Head Coach of the New York Rangers|
| Succeeded by|
|Head Coach of the New Jersey Devils|
| Succeeded by|
|Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins|
| Succeeded by|
|New York Rangers Head Coaches|
|Patrick • Boucher • L. Patrick • Colville • Cook • M. Patrick • Watson • Pike • Harvey • M. Patrick • Sullivan • Francis • Geoffrion • Francis • Popein • Francis • Stewart • Ferguson • Talbot • Shero • C. Patrick • Brooks • C. Patrick • Sator • Webster • Esposito • Bergeron • Esposito • Neilson • Smith • Keenan • Campbell • Muckler • Tortorella • Low • Trottier • Sather • Renney|
|New Jersey Devils Head Coaches|
|MacMillan • McVie • Carpenter • Schoenfeld • Cunniff • Brooks • Lemaire • Ftorek • Robinson • Constantine • Burns • Lamoriello • Julien • Sutter|
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