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Gold Medal-Winning Olympic Coach Riley Passes Away

By, 02/03/16, 10:45AM MST


Massachusetts Native Coached for Over 35 Years

John “Jack” P. Riley, Jr. (Medford, Mass.), who as head coach led the U.S. to its first-ever gold medal in Olympic ice hockey in 1960, passed away today at the age of 95.

"Jack's imprint on the game was enormous," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "While to many he is best known as the head coach of the 1960 gold medal team, he devoted his entire career and life to coaching and developing young men."

Riley, who also played on the 1948 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, coached for more than 35 years at West Point and is a two-time recipient of the Spencer Penrose Award as the top coach in NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey.

He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979 and the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 1998. He is also a two-time recipient of the prestigious Lester Patrick Trophy (1986, 2002).

“He’s an absolute legend of the game and someone we’ll miss dearly,” said Lou Vairo, director of special projects for USA Hockey and also a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. “He always made himself available to anyone in hockey and particularly youth hockey players and coaches.” 

Link to Riley U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame bio

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