World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Herb Brooks

Article Id: WHEBN0000294306
Reproduction Date:

Title: Herb Brooks  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh/On this day, List of Olympic men's ice hockey players for the United States, Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, Lou Nanne
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Herb Brooks

Herb Brooks
Brooks in 1983 coaching the New York Rangers.
Born Herbert Paul Brooks, Jr.
(1937-08-05)August 5, 1937
Saint Paul, MN, USA
Died August 11, 2003(2003-08-11) (aged 66)
near Forest Lake, MN, USA
Occupation Ice hockey coach, player
Spouse(s) Patti Brooks (1965-2003)
Children Danny (son)
Kelly (daughter)
Relatives David Brooks (brother)
Medal record
Men's ice hockey
Representing the  USA
World Championships
Bronze 1962 United States (Player)
Winter Olympics
Gold 1980 United States (Coach)
Silver 2002 United States (Coach)
The 1958–59 Gopher Hockey Team, including Lou Nanne, Larry Smith, and Herb Brooks (#9) who is seated bottom row left.

Herbert "Herb" Paul Brooks, Jr. (August 5, 1937 – August 11, 2003) was an American ice hockey player and coach. His most notable achievement came in 1980 as head coach of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic hockey team at Lake Placid. At the games, Brooks' US team upset the heavily favored Soviet team in a match that came to be known as the 'Miracle on Ice'. Brooks would go on to coach multiple NHL teams, as well as the French hockey team at the 1998 Winter Olympics, and ultimately returned to coach the US men's team to a silver medal at the 2002 games in Salt Lake City. Brooks was killed in a 2003 car accident. At the time of his death, Brooks was the Pittsburgh Penguins' director of player personnel.


Early life

Herb Brooks was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Herbert Sr. and Pauline Brooks. He attended Johnson High School, where his team won the 1955 state hockey championship.[1]

Brooks continued his hockey career with the University of Minnesota Gophers from 1955 to 1959.[2] He was a member of the 1960 Olympic team, only to become the last cut the week before the Games started. Three weeks later, Brooks sat at home with his father and watched the team he almost made win gold. Afterwards, Brooks "went up to the coach Jack Riley and said, 'Well, you must have made the right decision—you won.'"; this humbling moment served as motivation for an already self-driven person.[3]

From 1960 to 1970, Brooks set a record by playing on a total of eight US National and Olympic teams, including the 1964 and 1968 Olympic squads.[4]

Coaching career

After retiring as a player, he became a coach, notably leading his alma mater, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, to three NCAA championship titles in 1974, 1976, and 1979. Brooks finished his collegiate coaching with a record of 175 wins, 101 losses and 20 ties.

Soon after Minnesota won their third college championship, he was hired to coach the Olympic team. Hand-picking his team, he named several of his Minnesota players to the team as well as several from their rival, Boston University. To compete with the Soviet Union team specifically, Herb Brooks developed a hybrid of American and Canadian style and the faster European style, which emphasized creativity and teamwork, a difficult thing to do with a tough rivalry between the University of Minnesota and Boston University. He also stressed peak conditioning, believing that one of the reasons the Soviet team had dominated international competition was that many of their opponents were exhausted by the third period.

Brooks was approached by Michigan Tech after head coach John MacInnes died in 1983 but turned their offer down.

After his Olympic gold medal win, Brooks moved to Switzerland for a year to coach HC Davos in the National League A. From 1981 to 1985, he coached in the National Hockey League for the New York Rangers, where he became the first American-born coach in Rangers' team history to win 100 games. He also coached the Minnesota North Stars (from 1987 to 1988), New Jersey Devils (1992–93), and Pittsburgh Penguins (1999–2000). He was a long-time scout for the Penguins from the mid-1990s, and held the role of Director of Player Personnel from 2002 to the day of his death.

Brooks also coached two more Olympic team squads: Team France at the 1998 in Nagano, and the U.S. hockey team again at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The 2002 team defeated the Russians in the semi-finals en route to a silver, losing in the gold medal game to Canada. The U.S. win over Russia came exactly 22 years to the day after the famous 'Miracle on Ice' game.[5][6]

Brooks was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990,[7] the International Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999, and the Hockey Hall of Fame (posthumously) in 2006.

Death and legacy

At the age of 66, Brooks died in a single car accident on the afternoon of August 11, 2003, near Forest Lake, Minnesota, on Interstate 35.[8] It is believed that he fell asleep behind the wheel before the accident after driving all night, and neither drugs nor alcohol was responsible. Brooks was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash, and according to the Minnesota State Patrol it is likely he would have survived the crash if he had been.[9]

Disney released a film about the 1980 Olympic team in 2004 called Miracle featuring Kurt Russell playing the part of Brooks (Karl Malden had previously played Brooks in a 1981 television film called Miracle on Ice). Brooks served as a consultant during principal photography, which was completed shortly before his death. At the end of the movie there is a dedication to Brooks. It states, "He never saw it. He lived it."

Upon the 25th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice, the Olympic ice arena in Lake Placid, New York, where the United States won the gold medal, was renamed Herb Brooks Arena. A statue of Brooks depicting his reaction to the victory in the 'Miracle' game was erected at the entrance to the RiverCentre in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 2003.

The Herb Brooks Award is awarded at the conclusion of the Minnesota State High School League's state hockey tournament to "the most qualified hockey player in the state tournament who strongly represents the values, characteristics, and traits that defined Herb Brooks."[10]

The Herb Brooks Training Center is located at Blaine, Minnesota.

The National Hockey Center at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota was renamed for Brooks in April of 2013. [11]

In 2006, Brooks was posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builders' category. The inscription reads: "A man of passion and dedication, Herb Brooks inspired a generation of Americans to pursue any and all dreams."[7]


Brooks was married to his wife Patti in 1965, and they had two children, Danny and Kelly.[12]


Brooks' original expressions were known by his players as "Brooksisms." According to Olympians John Harrington, Dave Silk, and Mike Eruzione, these are a few.[13]

  • "You're playing worse and worse every day and right now you're playing like it's next month."
  • "You can't be common, the common man goes nowhere; you have to be uncommon."
  • "Boys, I'm asking you to go to the well again."
  • "You look like you have a five pound fart on your head."
  • "You guys are getting bent over and they're not using Vaseline."
  • "You look like a monkey tryin' to hump a football!"
  • "You're looking for players whose name on the front of the sweater is more important than the one on the back. I look for these players to play hard, to play smart, and to represent their country.”
  • "Great moments are born from great opportunity."
  • "You know, Willy Wonka said it best: we are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams."
  • "This team isn't talented enough to win on talent alone."
  • "If you lose this game you'll take it to your grave ... your fucking grave."
  • "You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours."[14]
  • "Write your own book instead of reading someone else's book about success."[5]
  • "Boys, in the front of the net it's a bloody nose alley."
  • "Don't dump the puck in. That went out with short pants."
  • "Throw the puck back and weave, weave, weave. But don't just weave for the sake of weaving."
  • "Let's be idealistic, but let's also be practical."
  • "You guys don't want to work during the game?"
  • "The legs feed the wolf."
  • "We walked up to the tiger, looked him straight in his eye, and spat in it."

Coaching statistics


Note: GC = Games coached, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OL = Overtime loss, Pts = Points, Pct = Winning percentage
Season Team League GC W L T OL Pts Standings Pct
1981–82 New York Rangers NHL 80 39 27 14 92 2nd in Patrick 0.575 (Lost Second Round)
1982–83 New York Rangers NHL 80 35 35 10 80 4th in Patrick 0.500 (Lost Second Round)
1983–84 New York Rangers NHL 80 42 29 9 93 4th in Patrick 0.581 (Lost First Round)
1984–85 New York Rangers NHL 45 15 22 8 38 5th in Patrick 0.422 (fired)
1987–88 Minnesota North Stars NHL 80 19 48 13 51 5th in Norris 0.319 (missed playoffs)
1992–93 New Jersey Devils NHL 84 40 37 7 87 4th in Patrick 0.518 (Lost First Round)
1999–2000 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 58 29 24 5 0 63 3rd in Atlantic 0.543 (Lost Second Round)
NHL career totals 507 219 222 66 0 504 0.497

Other leagues

Note: GC = Games coached, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OL = Overtime loss, Pts = Points, Pct = Winning percentage
Season Team League GC W L T OL Pts Pct
1972–73 Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA 34 15 16 3 33 0.485
1973–74 Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA 34 17 12 5 39 0.574
1974–75 Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA 42 31 10 1 63 0.750
1975-76 Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA 38 23 14 1 47 0.618
1976–77 Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA 42 17 22 3 37 0.440
1977–78 Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA 38 22 14 2 46 0.605
1978–79 Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA 44 32 11 1 65 0.739
1980 USA Olympic Men's Team IIHF Gold Medal
1980–81 HC Davos Swiss-A 28 11 16 1 23 0.411
1986–87 St. Cloud State Huskies NCAA 36 25 10 1 51 0.708
1991–92 Utica Devils AHL 80 34 40 6 74 0.463
1998 France Olympic Men's Team IIHF 11th-place finish
2002 USA Olympic Men's Team IIHF Silver Medal
NCAA career totals 308 182 109 17 381 0.619

See also


  1. ^ Dohrmann, George (March 22, 2004). "High School Heaven: Never mind the Twins, Vikings, T-Wolves and Wild — there's nothing in Minnesota to match the state hockey tournament".  
  2. ^ America's Coach, Ross Bernstein 28
  3. ^ Calio, Jim (03/10/1980). "A Solitary Soul on Ice, Coach Herb Brooks Drove His Young Olympians to Glory :".  
  4. ^ America's Coach, Ross Bernstein 33-34
  5. ^ a b "USA holds off Russia 3-2 to advance to gold medal game". CNN. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Roenick foils Russia's bid to tie game". CNN. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Hockey Hall of Fame: Herb Brooks". 
  8. ^ America's coach, Ross Bernstein 159
  9. ^
  10. ^ "2006–2007 MSHSL Athletic Rules and Policies Manual".  
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Herb Brooks Foundation". 
  13. ^ America's Coach, Ross Bernstein 77
  14. ^ Coffey, p. 45

External links

  • The Herb Brooks Foundation
  • Herb Brooks's biography at Legends of Hockey
  • Herb Brooks at Find a Grave
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Fred Shero
Head coach of the New York Rangers
Succeeded by
Craig Patrick
Preceded by
Glen Sonmor
Head coach of the Minnesota North Stars
Succeeded by
Pierre Page
Preceded by
Tom McVie
Head coach of the New Jersey Devils
Succeeded by
Jacques Lemaire
Preceded by
Kevin Constantine
Head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins
Succeeded by
Ivan Hlinka
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.