The Minnesota Wild, in partnership with Minnesota Hockey and Bally Sports North, announced the late Herb Brooks as the 2023-24 State of Hockey Legacy Award winner. Brooks becomes the 13th member to receive the honor. Brooks’ two grandson’s, Tommy and Joe Paradise, will accept the award on his behalf.

“Herb Brooks is synonymous with the game of hockey here in Minnesota,” said Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold. “He transcended the sport with his intense coaching style and captivated the nation during the 1980 Winter Olympics. He is a true legend and icon in the hockey community.”

Brooks, who hailed from Saint Paul, Minn., began his head coaching career at the University of Minnesota in 1972, where he led the Golden Gophers to their first National Championship in program history in 1974. Under Brooks the Golden Gophers would go on to win two more National Championships in a span of four years (1976, 1979). Brooks finished his collegiate coaching career with a 167-97-18 record over a span of eight seasons (1972-79). Having also spent three seasons at the University of Minnesota as a player (1957-59), Brooks was inducted into the M Club Hall of Fame.

After leaving the University of Minnesota in 1979, Brooks was named head coach of the 1980 United States Olympic team, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Brooks would go on to lead the United States to a gold medal, thanks in part to defeating the Soviet Union in the semifinals, a team who had won five of the six previous Olympic Games. The game famously known as “Miracle on Ice” went on to be named the number one sports moment of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated. Prior to becoming the Head Coach of the Olympic team, Brooks played on the national team eight times, including the 1964 and 1968 Olympic teams.

Brooks joined the New York Rangers as their head coach in 1981, where he spent four seasons and was named Coach of the Year in 1982. He then went on to coach the Minnesota North Stars (1987-88), New Jersey Devils (1992-93) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (1999-2000). He finished his NHL coaching career with a 219-219-66 record. Brooks was inducted in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 2006. The State of Hockey Legacy Award, presented by the Wild, Minnesota Hockey and Bally Sports North, recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary and long-term contributions to hockey in Minnesota. Past recipients are Laura Halldorson (2023), Dr. George Nagobads (2022), John Mayasich (2021), Doug Woog (2020), Larry Hendrickson (2019), Bob Naegele, Jr. (2018), Walter L. Bush, Jr. (2016), Bob O’Connor (2015), Lou Nanne (2014), Glen Sonmor (2012), Neal Broten (2011) and Lou Cotroneo (2010).

(info courtesy of Wild)

Share this: