Farewell To Another Greatest-Generation American

The day after one of the most memorable Beanpot Tournaments ever, hundreds of  members of the ice hockey family journeyed to Cape Cod to pay final respects to Jack Riley.  Jack passed away at the age of 95 after one of the most memorable careers in the sport of hockey.

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Jack’s plaque from the United States Military Academy’s Hall of Fame enumerates his many coaching achievements and honors.

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Naval aviator, graduate of flight school in Jacksonville. Florida, May 1943

He graduated from Medford High in 1936, prepped for a few years, and enrolled at Dartmouth College. He starred in hockey under Eddie Jeremiah for two seasons, then left to serve as a Navy pilot in World War II.

 

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He returned to Dartmouth and finished out his college playing days, captaining the 1947 teams that was considered the best in the country.

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In 1960, Walter Brown selected Jack to coach of the United States Olympic Team for the games at Squaw Valley, California. They pulled off the real “Miracle on Ice” with victories over Canada, Russia, and Czechoslovakia.

A long and full life, blessed with six children and nine grandchildren…Jack Riley was not only one of America’s finest hockey men. He was one of our Greatest Generation’s bona fide heroes.

 

 

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