Military Sports

Jack Riley, Hall of Fame Army hockey coach, dies at 95

Riley retired in 1986 with a 542-343-20 record at West Point — at the time, the second-most wins in college hockey history. He earned enshrinement in the school's Sports Hall of Fame (the inaugural class of 2004) as well as the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame (1979) and the International Hockey Hall of Fame (1988).

Twenty years before the "Miracle on Ice" at Lake Placid, New York, the Riley-led Team USA went unbeaten at Squaw Valley, California, with wins over Canada and the Soviet Union, among other rivals, in the medal round.

Riley served as a Navy pilot in the Pacific theater during World War II, according to his U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame biography, then played on the 1948 Olympic team before joining the Army West Point coaching staff in 1950. He moved into head job the next year.

His son, Rob Riley, took over the position after Jack Riley's retirement and coached the team until 2004. He yielded to another son, Brian Riley, who now coaches the Black Knights.

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

Riley died surrounded by family and friends in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, according to the release.

"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," Brian Riley said. "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."

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