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Herb Brooks – Herb Brooks was an American ice hockey player and coach. He played for the University of Minnesota Gophers from 1955-1959 and was a member of the United States 1960 Olympic ice hockey team, however, he was the last cut and did not end up playing for the team that would go on to win the gold medal. Already a self-driven person, this decision by his coach only increased his desire to win the gold medal for his country. After retiring as a player, he became the coach of his alma mater, the Minnesota Golden Gophers. He led them to three NCAA championship titles in 1974, 1976, and 1979. Then, he finally got the call to the Olympics he’d been waiting for and became the head coach for the United States Olympic team in 1980. As he picked his team, he chose players he coached in Minnesota as well as players from their key rival Boston University, which really intensified practices. One of the toughest decisions Brooks ever made in his life would turn out to be the decision to make Ralph Cox the last cut before departing for Lake Placid. He knew exactly how Ralph would feel and it absolutely devastated him but nonetheless, the team would move on without him and become the youngest Olympic team ever assembled by the United States. Herb Brooks was known for his demanding and ruthless coaching style and his players even gave his wind sprint drills the nickname of “Herbies.” Brooks knew he had his work cut out for him against the Soviets so he developed a hybrid of American and Canadian style of play which optimized creativity and teamwork because he knew his squad was not as skilled as any of the other teams. The United States would go on to beat the Soviets in the medal round and eventually beat Finland to secure the gold medal. In the heat of the Cold War and with President Jimmy Carter soon to announce an American boycott of the 1980 summer games in Moscow, the bout between the Americans and Soviets was more than just a hockey game. Herb Brooks played an instrumental role in the “Miracle on Ice” and would go on to coach the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars, New Jersey Devils, and Pittsburgh Penguins after winning the gold medal. He was also inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990, the International Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999, and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.