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The Original Miracle Man


Before the Miracle on Ice, there was the Forgotten Miracle: In 1960, coach Jack Riley led the U.S. men's hockey team—carpenters, salesmen and firefighters who were thought to have no chance—past three of the top teams in the world, Sweden, Canada and the Soviet Union, before beating Czechoslovakia to win America's first gold medal in hockey. Riley died on Feb. 3 at 95. After serving as a Navy pilot during World War II, he became the hockey coach at West Point in '50, a position he held for 36 years, earning 542 wins and two NCAA Coach of the Year awards. His son Brian, Army's current coach, said the three most important things to his father were family, serving his country and coaching the Black Knights.