The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation has announced that its 2011 Legend of Hockey recipient is the late Herb Brooks.
Brooks’ greatest claim to fame was guiding a group of college hockey players to the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y. That “Miracle on Ice” team was named by Sports Illustrated as “the greatest sports moment of the century.”
Brooks also led Minnesota to three national titles (1974, 1976 and 1979) and also coached the 2002 U.S. Olympic team to a silver medal at the Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah and the French team at the 1998 Olympics.
Brooks also helped St. Cloud State elevate their hockey program from Division II status to the Division I level and was their head coach during the 1986-87 transition season.
At the pro level, Brooks coached the NHL’s Minnesota North Stars, New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins, Davos (Switzerland) and the AHL’s Utica Devils (AHL).
Tragically, Brooks was killed in a car accident in August 2003 at the age of 66. He has been inducted into three Halls of Fame – U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame (1990), International Hockey Hall of Fame (1999) and Hockey Hall of Fame (2006).
Brooks will be honored along with this year’s Hobey Baker Award winner at the Hobey Baker Award banquet June 23, 2011 in St. Paul, Minn.