As a student at the University of Minnesota, Herb Brooks was the last player cut from the 1960 U.S. Olympic ice hockey team, which went on to win the gold medal. Brooks thus did not get his gold medal and 20 years later, as the coach of the American "Miracle on Ice," he would again be denied that honor because the coaches do not receive medals. But Brooks certainly gained a measure of pride in leading the 1980 U.S. ice hockey team to the Olympic gold medal.
Herb Brooks was small at 5-11 (1.80) and 168 lbs. (76 kg.), but played hockey for four years at Minnesota. Although cut from the 1960 Olympic team, he played on both the 1964 and 1968 U.S. Olympic teams, but neither team won a medal. Brooks also represented the United States four other times in international competition.
Brooks became the coach at his alma mater in the early 70s and led the Minnesota hockey powerhouse to several NCAA championships. After his Olympic success, he was courted by several NHL clubs but turned them all down to coach with a Swiss team in a European league. But Brooks later returned to the United States to coach in the NHL, first with the New York Rangers. Brooks’ NHL coaching career never achieved the height expected of him. He later worked in various administrative jobs for NHL teams. He was team manager of the French hockey team at the 1998 Olympics, and in 2002, returned as the U.S. Olympic coach, leading them to a silver medal. In 2004, a movie of the 1980 U.S. ice hockey team, Miracle, was made. Brooks served as a consultant during the filming of the movie, but tragically was killed in an automobile accident shortly before its premier.
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