ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Former Yale hockey coach Tim Taylor dies at 71

This comes from staffer Chip Malafronte

Tim Taylor, whose legendary coaching career included three decades at Yale and dedicated service to USA Hockey, died Saturday after a long battle with cancer. He was 71.
His passing comes exactly two weeks after Yale won its first national championship. He had been active at the international level through January, when he served as director of player personnel for the U.S. Junior National Team, which won gold at the World Junior Championships in Russia.
Taylor was regarded as one of the country’s finest teachers of the game, a man who coached with class and dignity.

“God bless Tim Taylor and his family,” said former U.S. Olympic goalie Jim Craig via Twitter. “He made me a better man. We will miss him.”
A star at Harvard in the early 1960s, where he later served as an assistant, Taylor was hired as Yale’s head coach in 1976. He coached 28 seasons in New Haven, winning more games (337) than any coach in the 117-year history of the program.
Taylor’s dream was to play in the Olympics. He was one of the final two U.S. players cut for the 1964 team, receiving the news the same weekend John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He tried out again unsuccessfully in 1968, which led to the start of his 43-year coaching career.
See Hockey, C3
Continued from C1
Taylor achieved his Olympic goal as a coach. He was an assistant for Team USA in 1984 and head coach of the 1994 team that competed in Lillehammer, Norway.
“I look at the Olympic job as the pinnacle of the coaching profession,” Taylor told the Register on the day he was awarded the position by USA Hockey in 1992. “To have the honor of coaching our nation’s team is something I have great respect for.”
At Yale, he sent players to the Olympics, the NHL and coaching ranks. Current Yale coach Keith Allain played for Taylor in the late 1970s and owes his coaching career to his former mentor.
“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, and Tim called me up and said, ‘I think you should come back and coach,’” Allain said shortly after Yale won the national title two weeks ago. “The boost of confidence that gave me, I’m thinking, ‘Geez, if Tim Taylor thinks I can coach, maybe I can coach.’”
Yale won six Ivy League titles and, in his finest season, captured the 1998 ECAC championship. Taylor’s final win at Yale was a five-overtime thriller in the ECAC playoffs at Union, at the time the longest game in men’s college hockey history.
ECAC Hockey renamed its coach of the year award for Taylor in 2007.
A longtime Guilford resident, where he lived with his wife, Diana, he remained active after Yale as a professional scout and as an administrator with USA Hockey.

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