Herb Brooks

Known throughout the sports world as one of the most highly qualified experts in professional and international hockey, Brooks was the architect of the most celebrated moment in the history of USA Hockey. His direction of the gold-medal winning U.S. team at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games was achieved with a 6-0-1 overall record and a stunning 4-3 victory against the heavily favored Soviet Union.

In 1980 Sports Illustrated named him Sportsman of the Year and, 20 years later, called the team’s performance the "Greatest Sports Moment of the Century." Brooks’ other head coaching assignment with USA Hockey came with the 1979 U.S. National Team at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Moscow.

Brooks later returned to the Olympic Winter Games as head coach of the 1998 French National Team in Nagano, Japan. Most recently, he led the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team to the silver medal at the 2002 Olympic Games.

As a player in international competition, Brooks was a member of two U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Teams, including 1964 in Innsbruck, Austria, and 1968 when he served as captain in Grenoble, France. He was also named to play for five U.S. National Teams, including 1961, 1962, 1965, 1967 and 1970.

His NHL head coaching career includes guiding the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 29-23-5 record, and his 200th career NHL victory, after accepting the reins partway through the 1999-2000 season. Previously, he served as head coach of the New York Rangers (1981-82 through 1984-85), Minnesota North Stars (1987-88) and New Jersey Devils (1992-93). With the Rangers, Brooks guided the team to playoff appearances in his first four seasons behind the bench and reached the 100-victory plateau faster than any coach in franchise history.

In the collegiate ranks, Brooks led the University of Minnesota to NCAA Division I National Championships in 1973-74, 1975-76, and 1978-79, during seven seasons (1972-73 through 1978-79) as head coach. In Brooks’ first season, he took over a last place team and took them to a NCAA Championship in just his second year as coach. During that time he fashioned a 165-96-18 record with the Golden Gophers and became the only coach to lead a team comprised solely of American-born players to a national championship. His 8-1-0 NCAA Tournament record gives him the highest Tournament winning percentage at 0.889. Prior to his coaching career, Brooks starred as a player at Minnesota, earning three varsity letters.

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Along with the 1980 U.S. Olympic Ice Hockey Team, Brooks was honored with the prestigious Lester Patrick Award that year for his outstanding service to hockey in the United States. Patrick was also selected by his peers as the 1981-82 NHL Coach of the Year in The Sporting News. Brooks was enshrined in the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990 and the IIHF Hall of Fame.

Brooks was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame on Dec. 8, 2005, by the United States Olympic Committee. Most recently, he was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame on June 28, 2006 and will be officially inducted on November 13, 2006 in Toronto, Ontario.