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Brooks Said To Coach U.S. Hockey

October 31, 2000

Herb Brooks, who in 1980 led the United States to one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history, will coach the U.S. hockey team at the Salt Lake City Olympics, a hockey source told The Associated Press on Monday.

USA Hockey will announce the hiring Wednesday, the source told the AP on condition he not be identified. Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Craig Patrick will be the team’s GM, the source said.

A USA Hockey official declined to confirm the hirings and would only say a news conference was scheduled in St. Paul, Minn., on Wednesday.

The moves were originally reported by the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, Twin Cities’ radio station WCCO-AM and Midwest Sports Channel. They also reported that St. Louis Blues general manager Larry Pleau will be Patrick’s assistant.

In 1980, Brooks and Patrick, the assistant general manager and assistant coach, led a group of college players to an upset of the Soviet Union en route to a gold medal. It was the last time the United States won a medal in men’s hockey.

At the 1998 Nagano Games, the United States tied for fifth place, despite using NHL players, and the team came under criticism for its behavior.

A room at the Olympic Village room was trashed by U.S. players following their elimination from the tournament. The events were investigated, but no culprits were identified. NHL stars will play on the team again in 2002.

The 63-year-old Brooks, who coached the University of Minnesota from 1972-79, played on the 1964 and `68 teams. He has not been a part of the U.S. Olympic team since 1980.

Patrick, 54, has been the general manager of the New York Rangers and Penguins. Patrick has been in Pittsburgh since 1989.

Pleau, 53, a member of the 1968 U.S. Olympic team, has been the Blues’ general manager since 1997.

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