'Minnesota lost its head coach today'
"Herb was one of those people who believed in the task.
Whether or not there was any glory was unimportant. ... The miracle
of 1980 was really the miracle of character."
-- Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson.
"He knew what needed to be done, and he did what he had to to
win in 1980. The guy belonged behind the bench. That's where his
greatest achievements came."
-- University of Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi.
''(Former Gophers coach) John Mariucci is the godfather of
Minnesota hockey, but Herbie is number two, without question. He
made an impact like no one else. He was a person of conviction and
character who wasn't afraid to take an unpopular stand and stick up
for what he believed in."
-- Glen Sonmor, a former coach of the Minnesota North Stars and Gophers.
"I wish my kids could have played one game under him as coach,
just one game, to see what it meant to play for him. I was blessed
to play for him and to be his friend afterward. I can't believe I
just lost my best friend."
-- Michael Polich, a University of Minnesota player from 1972-75.
"I played for a lot of coaches. And Herbie is the greatest
coach I ever played for."
-- Reed Larson, a former Gophers player who played 14 years in the NHL.
"I think Herb's spirit will continue to live and benefit
hockey in this country. I think that's what he'd want. He's a
passionate, patriotic American and proud of our hockey players, and
showed it when he led them to victory in Lake Placid and in Salt
-- Lou Vairo, an assistant under Brooks at the 2002 Olympics and currently USA Hockey's director of special projects.
"Herb was a tireless supporter of USA Hockey players and
programs, a relentless advocate of the speed and beauty of our
game. Making one of Herb Brooks' teams was an extraordinary
-- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
"My gut reaction is Minnesota lost its head coach today. Herb
Brooks was a Minnesota legend, a Minnesota treasure."
-- Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
"This is a huge loss for everybody in the game, especially
those of us from the United States. He was a great ambassador for
the game and he will be sorely missed."
-- Dallas Stars forward Bill Guerin, who played for Brooks on the 2002 U.S. Olympic team and the 1992-93 New Jersey Devils.
"It seems like all the great innovators die young. Coach may
have been the greatest innovator the sport has ever had."
-- Ken Morrow, a defenseman on the gold medal-winning 1980 Olympic team and now a scout for the New York Islanders.
"Herb was never one to wax nostalgic. I never saw him exult in
this or brag about it, and there was very little emotion shown by
Herb. In the early years, he thought it was just part of his job --
being a coach -- and he approached how they won that game almost
like an analyst. But the last couple of times I saw him, you could
see that he was beginning to gain a greater appreciation for what
-- Broadcaster Al Michaels, whose call at the end of the United States' win over the Soviet Union in 1980 has become one of the most famous in sports history.
"I am in shock. It's a sad day for his family and friends. He
was a unique individual -- innovative. He had a passion for the
game. For people in the game, you had to respect that."
-- New Jersey Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello, a friend of Brooks for 40 years.
"He truly was part of our American hockey heritage. There was
nobody like Herb Brooks. He was a stalwart member of the hockey
community of the United States."
-- Tom Sersha, executive director at U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
"Today's a sad day for hockey. It's a monumental loss for the
University of Minnesota."
-- University of Minnesota hockey coach Don Lucia.
"It's a great loss for USA hockey. He was a master motivator,
a great thinker,"
-- Bob Allen, who operated the Olympic Center during the 1980 Winter Games.
"I knew him for 30 years -- we played together, we coached
together, we worked together. Herbie lived the game and he loved
-- Pittsburgh Penguins GM Craig Patrick, Brooks' assistant on the 1980 Olympic team. Patrick also was Brooks' boss the past eight years, when Brooks served as a scout, interim coach and then director of player development for the Penguins.
"What he did with that team basically made Lake Placid what it
-- Sandy Caligiore of the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority, which operates the Olympic Center where Mike Eruzione scored his game-winning goal against the Soviets.
"As head coach of the 1980 U.S. Olympic ice hockey team, Coach
Brooks helped craft one of the most inspiring moments in Olympic
history. He cared deeply about the sport of hockey and devoted much
of his life to developing the game, both nationally and
-- The United States Olympic Committee.
"It's a real tough day. On a very sad note, we lose not only a
great coach and an innovator of the game, but a real good friend.''
-- Mark Johnson, a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team and currently the University of Wisconsin's head women's hockey coach.
"He was a teammate of mine as well as a great innovator and
motivator in hockey. The entire USA Hockey family is going to miss
-- USA Hockey President Ron DeGregorio, who played with Brooks as part of a traveling team in 1970-71.
"This is a great loss for the Penguins and for the entire
-- Pittsburgh Penguins owner and captain Mario Lemieux.
"Herb was a great teacher and a hometown hero who never forgot
where he came from. He was my friend and I will miss him dearly.''
-- U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
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