August 11, 2003 by

Herb Brooks

13 comments

Categories: Sports

hbrooks.jpgHerb Brooks was the architect behind the “Miracle on Ice” hockey team that captured the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics.
In 1979, Brooks was coaching hockey at the University of Minnesota when he was asked to put together a team for the Lake Placid Games. Using players from rival hockey and college teams, he spent a year training the men, preparing them to play the Soviet Union’s championship squad.
Just before the Olympics began, the Soviets creamed the American team by 10-3 in an exhibition game. Undaunted, the U.S. players came back a week later to beat the Soviets 4-3, and win the gold.
Brooks was no stranger to international competition. In 1960, he was the last player to be cut in tryouts for the U.S. Olympic team. Four years later, he made the team and played in the 1964 and 1968 games.
After the American triumph in 1980, Brooks coached several N.H.L. teams, including the New York Rangers, the Minnesota North Stars, the New Jersey Devils and the Pittsburgh Penguins. In 2002, he coached the U.S. hockey team to a silver medal at the Salt Lake City Olympics.
Brooks was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990. He was returning from a celebrity golf tournament to raise money for the hall when he lost control of his minivan on a Minnesota highway. The vehicle rolled and he was thrown from the car; he was not wearing a seat belt.
Brooks died on Aug. 11. He was 66.

13 Responses to Herb Brooks

  1. Heather

    I was not even alive in 1980, but I believe that the Miracle on Ice was the sporting event of the century. Herb Brooks gave people something to believe in. That is the most specialist thing of all.

  2. Logan Pirkl (12)

    I think Herb Brooks was one of the greatest sport coaches in history. He could turn any team into a contender. but he was also much more. He was a great person ans gave america hope during one of the hardest of times.

  3. Bob Stack

    Went to Johnson High with Herb, and although I did not play the game, I remember the guy’s walking to Lake Phalen with their gear for practice as we did not have car’s in those day’s. It took dedication (not just wanting a letter) since we had no indoor rinks. Herb Brooks had that dedication! I am sure he learned from this and was able to pass it on to those who followed him. AMEN, HERB.

  4. J Dog

    I am 12 and i am doing a report on him for school and i didn’t know how great this Miracle on Ice really was and how great Herb Brooks was.

  5. Ernest Hemple

    The day after the US won the gold, I met Herb after we appeared together on Real People, a tv show. George Schlatter took us to our hotel. They couldn’t find a reservation for Herb. My room had two beds, so I invited him to share my room. It turns out that Herb had visited Salt Lake Temple Square the week before and I being a Mormon, answered questions about life and death and shared several LDS books with Herb. I passed his informatin along to the missionaries and my understanding was that the mission president taught him the discussions. I never heard the out come. I was shocked when I heard of his untimely death. That night he was the most famous person on the planet. He was on a half of dozen tv shows, and he didn’t watch one. He was consumed reading the book, Letters from Brigham Young to his sons. I would love to hear how the discussions went. If anyone knows, please email me at ernesthemple@yahoo.com

  6. Mallory

    i was not born yet i was born 12 years later (1992) my dad went to collage at the University of Minnesota when herb broocks coached there and is the same age as the players. my dad grow up in Wis. now we live in GA. my dad’s twin brother new mark johnson and they were close friend’s (they have each other on speed dial) so all 3 of them tell me stories of herb brooks and what he was like. i wish he was still alive today. because of him i believe in miracles, and have faith in me, my team, and follow/ and listion to what my heart tells me to do.

  7. Raven Backster

    Herb was an awesome guy when i went 2 meet him on the sets of Miracle!!!! I wish that everyone gets a chance to notice what a great guy Herb was

  8. josee

    My heart and sorrows, goes out to the brooks family, for their lost. Herb was a great coach, he did what no other coach could do. He took a bunch of college hockey players, and turned them into gold medal winners. REST IN PEACE HERB.

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