Killed in One-Car Accident
who guided the University of Minnesota to three national championships
and led the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to a gold medal in one
of the greatest moments in American sports history, died Monday
in a one-car accident in Forest Lake, Minn. He was 66.
traveling alone in his 2000 Toyota minivan, and no other vehicles
were involved. The incident took place at 3:44 p.m. ET just north
of Minneapolis. He was on his way to a speaking engagement in
is tragic loss for the entire Minnesota hockey family," said
current Golden Gopher coach and Grand Rapids, Minn., native Don
Lucia, who was recruited by Brooks as a high school senior before
deciding to attend Notre Dame. "He was a pioneer for Minnesota's
'Pride on Ice.' When you think of the legends of Golden Gopher
hockey, you think of John Mariucci, John Mayasich and Herb Brooks.
He was an inspiration to me."
native of St. Paul, was a three-year letterwinner for the Golden
Gophers under legendary coach John Mariucci from 1957-59, and
his playing career included stints with the U.S. Olympic teams
in 1964 and 1968.
"People forget he was a very good hockey player, and was
the co-captain of the 1964 Olympic Team," USA Hockey chairman
of the board Walter Bush said. "He turned his playing ability,
passion and personality into a great coaching career."
Brooks took over as the head coach at his alma mater in 1972 and
in seven years behind the Minnesota bench guided the Golden Gophers
to five WCHA championships and NCAA titles in 1974, 1976 and 1979.
He left the
Gophers after the 1979 campaign to become the head coach of the
1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. Brooks took the collection of collegians
to the second gold medal in the nation's Olympic hockey history,
a run highlighted by a stunning semifinal win over the legendary
Soviet Union team and a victory over Finland in the championship
Herb Brooks File
Aug. 5, 1937; St. Paul, Minn.
Career: University of Minnesota (1955-59), United
States Olympic Team (1964 and 1968), U.S. National Team (1960-61,
1965, 1967, 1970).
Career: University of Minnesota (1972-79), U.S. Olympic
Team (1980 and 2002), New York Rangers (1981-85), St. Cloud
State (1986-87), Minnesota North Stars (1987-88), New Jersey
Devils (1992-93), French Olympic Team (1998), Pittsburgh Penguins
Highlights: Led Minnesota to NCAA Championships in
1974, 1976 and 1979; Led 1980 U.S. Olympic Team to gold medal
at Lake Placid Games; Led 2002 U.S. Olympic Team to gold medal
at Salt Lake City Games.
Honors: WCHA Coach of the Year (1974), U.S. Hockey
Hall of Fame inductee (1990), International Ice Hockey Hall
of Fame inductee (1999), Lester Patrick Award winner (2002).
Olympic triumph, Brooks moved on to the professional ranks, coaching
the New York Rangers from 1981-85. He returned to his roots in
1986, taking over as head coach at St. Cloud State for one season
before moving on to assume the reins behind the Minnesota North
Stars' bench. His NHL resume also included stops at New Jersey
(1992-93) and Pittsburgh (1999-2000). Brooks' last coaching stint
was in Salt Lake City, where he helped the U.S. Olympic team to
a silver medal at the 2002 Olympic Games.
"He was Minnesota's
head coach," Minnesota Gov.Tim Pawlenty said in a news conference
on the steps of the state Capitol in Brooks' hometown. "Herb
Brooks never forgot where he came from and who he was. He brought
us to our feet cheering his hockey greatness."
survived by his wife, Patti, and two adult children, Dan and Kelly.