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Photo credit to Associated Press file. Jack Riley (right), coach of the US hockey team, hugged Russian team captain Nikolai Sologubov at the 1960 Games.

Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame Coach Passes Away

By Mass Hockey, 02/04/16, 3:45PM EST


Jack Riley Remembered as a Legend

In 1995, Jack Riley was inducted into the Massachusetts Hall of Fame for his contributions to Massachusetts Hockey alongside other members of the 1960 and 1980 U.S. men’s Olympic gold medal teams.

The 95-year-old died on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2016 with his family by his side at the Decatur House in Sandwich, Mass. He previously resided in Marstons Mills, Mass.

Riley was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979 and the International Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 1998. His accomplishments are not limited to but include two Lester Patrick Trophy in 1986 and 2002.

He is best known for leading as head coach for the first Olympic gold medal in U.S. men’s hockey history. Riley always maintained that the original “Miracle On Ice” belonged to his 1960 Olympic men’s hockey gold medal team.

“Of all his memorabilia, and there were many, his Olympic gold medal was the one he treasured the most,” said his son Rob in The Boston Globe's most recent article.

From 1950 to 1986 he coached at the US Military Academy, where he retired at that time as the second-winningest college hockey coach in NCAA history. Both his sons, Rob and Brian followed in their father’s footsteps as head coach for the same team.

Director of special projects for USA Hockey Lou Vairo said in an article posted on the USA Hockey website, “He’s an absolute legend of the game and someone we’ll miss dearly. He always made himself available to anyone in hockey and particularly youth hockey players and coaches.

After growing up in Medford, Mass., Riley went on to be a captain hockey player at Dartmouth in the mid-1940’s and served as a Navy pilot during World War II. He then went on to play for the 1948 U.S. Olympic team.

According to The Boston Globe article, “Mr. Riley was one of four hockey-playing brothers and the father of four sons and a daughter who also excelled at the sport.” In 1989, his wife, Maureen, preceded him.

“The three most important things to our father was family, serving his country as a Navy Pilot and coaching at West Point,” Brian Riley said in a statement.

Visiting hours will be from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 at John-Lawrence Funeral Home, 3778 Falmouth Rd. (Route 28), Marstons Mills, Mass., 02648. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 10th at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 76 Wianno Ave, Osterville, Mass., followed by burial at Mosswood Cemetery in Cotuit, Mass.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to 1st Lt. Derek Hines Soldiers Assistance Fund, c/o Marie Wilson - The Provident Rd, PO Box 37-5 Market Square, Amesbury, MA 01913. For on-line guest book & directions, please visit

Former Army West Point hockey coach Jack Riley, who amassed more than 500 wins in 36 seasons at the school, died Wednesday at age 95. (Photo: Army West Point athletics)

Jack Riley, shown at his Marstons Mills home in 2002, was a longtime West Point hockey coach and head coach of the gold-medal 1960 U.S. Olympic hockey team. (Photo: Kevin Mingora/Cape Cod Times File)

Jack Riley was welcomed back to West Point in 1960, the year he guided the United States Olympic hockey team to a gold medal. (Photo: Associated Press)

The three Riley Brothers at a Dartmouth alumni game: from left, Joe, Jack and Bill. (Photo: American Hockey Coaches Association)

Jack Riley, left, head coach of the 1960 U.S. Olympic hockey team, and trainer Ed Zanfrini watch the game between the American and Soviet teams in Squaw Valley, California. (Photo: Kevin Mingora/Cape Cod Times File)