Tim Taylor, longtime Yale and U.S. coach, passes away at 71

Tim Taylor, whose tenure as Yale coach lasted 30 years and included two sabbaticals to coach the U.S. Olympic team, died Saturday, the New Haven Register reported. He was 71.

Taylor had been battling cancer recently but continued to serve in a prominent role with USA Hockey. He was the director of player personnel for the gold medal-winning U.S. team at the 2013 World Junior Championship.

He coached Yale for 28 seasons, posting a 342-433-55 record from 1976 to 2006. He was an assistant coach for the 1984 U.S. Olympic team and the head coach in 1994.

His most memorable season with the Bulldogs was 1997-98, when he led the team to the ECAC Hockey regular season championship and the school’s first NCAA tournament berth since 1952.

“The ECAC Hockey family, and hockey community, has suffered a great loss with the passing of coach Tim Taylor,” said ECAC commissioner Steve Hagwell in a statement. “He is an icon within ECAC Hockey and the entire sport. A gentleman’s gentleman, Coach epitomized the true meaning of honor, integrity, loyalty and class. Coach truly was a blessing to everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. I certainly am a better man because of relationship and friendship with coach. He will greatly missed, but not forgotten.”

Taylor was given the Spencer Penrose Award by the American Hockey Coaches Association that season as the coach of the year in Division I men’s hockey.

In 1984, Taylor was both the assistant general manager and assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic team in Sarajevo. Taylor then served as head coach for Team USA in 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway. He also led the United States to its best finish at a Canada Cup when the team captured second place at the event in 1991.

Taylor led the U.S. Men’s National Team at the World Championship four straight years (1989-1992). He also served as an assistant coach for the team at the 1981 and 1983 events.

Born March 26, 1942, in Natick, Mass., Taylor captained the 1963 Harvard team that won the Ivy League title. He had 46 goals and 79 points in 68 career games for the Crimson.

He later spent seven years as an assistant coach at his alma mater before he became Yale’s head coach.

In 2006, he was honored with USA Hockey’s Distinguished Achievement Award.

Here are some stories about Taylor from USCHO’s archives:

Tim Taylor coaching record: A year-by-year look at Taylor’s Yale coaching career.

Yale’s Taylor Takes Spencer Penrose Award (April 14, 1998): Tim Taylor, who led the Yale Bulldogs to their first-ever ECAC regular-season title, has won the Spencer Penrose Award, given by the American Hockey Coaches Association to the Division I Coach of the Year in men’s ice hockey.

Taylor Tops All-Time Yale Win List (Feb. 10, 2001): Slumping Yale finally gave coach Tim Taylor a new school record for wins, but not before waiting just a bit longer.

Taylor Out At Yale (March 28, 2006): Yale’s long-time head coach Tim Taylor has been removed from that position and will be offered reassignment within the athletic department.

Tim Taylor Tapped As USNTDP Assistant (Aug. 24, 2007): Former Yale coach Tim Taylor was named an assistant coach Friday for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.


  1. A true gentleman. I got to know Tim when I was the Director ofPlayer development for the Compuware Junior “A” team and Andy Weidenbach, Jr. was being recruited. Tim in many ways was too nice & gentle to coach hockey. He will be missed!!!

  2. I received my first college offer from Tim Taylor. I was so excited when I met him and could tell he was a very special person in many ways. This is a sad day….I was not aware he was sick. Prayers for his family can close friends.

  3. Coach Taylor…….I played against your team as a player and coached against you as a colleague. Hockey was your life be it Harvard, Yale, or the USA team. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Too bad today’s coaches don’t relate to each other the way we used to. God Bless.

  4. One of the classiest ever behind the bench. A true gentleman whose Teams always played the game the way it should be played. Rest in peace, Coach Taylor and thanks for what you gave to the game.

  5. My son, a french canadian (Frenchie), played as defenseman for Tim Taylor at YALE (#19, ’95-’99). .He was part of the historical ’97-’98 team. Mr. Taylor has been a model for so many people (students and so many others), and, as a parent, I’ll never forget the exceptional coach he’s been and the values he’s given his players; nobody can forget who he was. It’s so sad !!!

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