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Tim Taylor, winningest Yale men's hockey coach, dies at 71

The winningest men's hockey coach in Yale history died Saturday, two weeks after Yale won its first-ever national hockey championship.

Tim Taylor led the Yale squad for three decades, from 1976 to 2006, with two breaks to coach US Olympic teams. A graduate of Harvard, Taylor died of cancer at age 71.

"Tim Taylor was the reason I went to Yale and, after my parents, the person who had the strongest influence on me as a young man," says one of Taylor's former team captains, Billy Matthews ’90, in a tribute on the Yale sports website. "Obviously, he was one of the best teachers of hockey. But more than that, he was one of the finest human beings anywhere." 

One of Taylor's most celebrated seasons came in 1997-98. Predicted to finish last in the Ivy League, the team instead set a Yale record for victories on the way to winning the ECAC championship and earning a spot in the NCAA tournament. That season also brought Taylor his third ECAC Coach of the Year award.

But his Yale career, with its record 337 wins, also included 433 losses. At the end of the 2006 season, the university let him go. Protégé Keith Allain ’80, a former goalie, took over as head coach.

For the past four years, Taylor served as director of player personnel for the US National Junior Team. Just this January, that team won a gold medal at the World Junior Championship in Russia.

Says USA Hockey president Ron DeGregorio: "We've lost one of the giants in coaching in our country." 

Filed under Tim Taylor, men's hockey
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