John Riley, a former Wisconsin coach who was instrumental in bringing varsity hockey back to the school, died Wednesday, The Capital Times of Madison, Wis., reported. He was 82.
Riley served as co-coach of the team, with Art Thomsen, on its return to varsity status in the 1963-64 season. He then coached the 1964-65 and ’65-66 seasons before turning coaching duties over the legendary Bob Johnson.
In his three seasons, he had a 34-19-3 record. The most important win of his tenure was probably the Badgers’ first modern-era victory over rival Minnesota, 5-4 in overtime on Feb. 22, 1966 at Madison’s Hartmeyer Arena.
“I predicted we’d win at the Blue Line Club meeting that day,” Riley told The Capital Times recently. “It was the beginning of the greatest rivalry in college hockey.”
A memorial mass is scheduled for Monday in Madison.