Legendary Hockey Coach Jack Riley passes away at 95

By Matt Faulkner Army Athletic Communications

Jack Riley, Army West Point’s all-time winningest hockey coach, finished with a 542-343-20 record during his 36-year career with the Black Knights. The head coach of the 1960 U.S. Olympic Hockey team that won the gold medal passed away Feb. 3 at the age of 95.      Photo Courtesy of Army Athletic Communications

U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer and former Army head hockey coach Jack Riley passed away Feb. 3 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, surrounded by his family and friends. He was 95 years old.

“Our family is saddened by the passing of our father,” current head coach Brian Riley said. “He lived a great life and although he is known as a hockey coach to many people, he was a great husband, father, grandfather and friend to all. My brothers, sister and I were especially grateful to have been able to call him dad and have had a wonderful and caring father for all these years.”

Army’s all-time winningest coach, Jack Riley, authored a 542-343-20 record during his remarkable 36-year career at the Black Knights’ hockey helm.

He retired in 1986 as the second-winningest college hockey head coach in NCAA history and currently ranks 18th on the list. Riley was a member of the Army Sports Hall of Fame inaugural class in 2004.

Riley was named NCAA “Coach of the Year” in 1957 and 1960, guided Army to 29 winning seasons and led the Black Knights to a school-record 28 victories during the 1983-84 campaign.

His Army teams reached postseason play nine times in all during a career that spanned four decades along the banks of the Hudson.

“The three most important things to our father was family, serving his country as a Navy pilot and coaching at West Point,” Riley said. “Interacting with and coaching the cadets over the years is what made West Point his dream job.”

Riley served as head coach of the United States Olympic team in 1960 and directed the squad to its first gold medal.

A two-time winner of the Lester Patrick Award (1986, 2002), presented for outstanding service to U.S. hockey, Riley was elected to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979.

He was also inducted into International Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998.

Services will be announced by the family at a later time.