Eleven years ago today, legendary U.S. hockey coach Herb Brooks passed away in a tragic car accident. Brooks is prominently known for guiding the U.S. Olympic ice hockey team to the "Miracle on Ice" triumph in 1980.
On the road to winning the gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York, Team USA highlighted its accomplishment with a medal-round win over the heavily favored Soviet Union. The notable achievement was one of the most compelling moments in sports lore and the win over the Russians transcended the game to become one of the most inspirational and defining moments in U.S. history.
Brooks was also known for his “Herbie-isms.” In addition to these sayings, many famous quotes have been attributed to Brooks and used as motivational sayings. This page includes some of those. Which is your favorite?
BIRTHPLACE: St. Paul, Minn.
BORN: August 5, 1937
DIED: August 11, 2003
TEAMS/ASSOCIATIONS: University of Minnesota, United States Olympic Teams, New York Rangers, North Stars
Herb Brooks, is one of America's most celebrated coaches. The St. Paul "East Sider" got his first taste of championship hockey when he led his St. Paul Johnson squad to the Minnesota High School title in 1955. He would go on to play at the University of Minnesota for coach John Mariucci, and then proceed to play on several U.S. National and Olympic teams from 1952-1970.
Despite being an excellent skater, it was his innovative coaching that put him into the Hall of Fame. He took over at his alma mater in 1972, and led the last-place Gopher squad to an NCAA title just two years later. It would be the first of three crowns at the U of M for the coach, who would then go on to lead the fabled 1980 U.S. Olympic team to the "Miracle on Ice" gold medal.
From there Brooks entered the NHL coaching ranks, first with the New York Rangers, where, after three years, he was named Coach of the Year, and later with his hometown North Stars, in 1988. In between he even guided St. Cloud State (Minnesota) for a year, bringing them up from Division III to Division I status.
Brooks went on to a successful business career which included motivational speaking, TV analysis, NHL scouting and occasional coaching. He even guided the French Olympic team in 1998. One of our nation's most charismatic and inventive coaches, "Herbie" is a true American hero.