Throughout his coaching career and his life Tim Taylor had a knack for making a lasting impression on everyone he came in contact with.
Taylor served as the head coach of the 1994 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team and enjoyed a 28-year run as the head coach at Yale University.
The Guilford, Conn., resident continued to have a huge impact on the game during the past five years as the director of player personnel for the U.S. National Junior Team. Team USA won two gold medals (2010, 2013) and a bronze medal (2011) during Taylor’s stint with the program.
To those who knew him best, his passing marks a sad day for hockey.
“He had a passion for hockey exceeded by no one, equaled by few. If you had a kid that played hockey you would want Timmy to be his mentor and coach.”
— Lou Vairo, USA Hockey’s director of Special Projects
“He was a great man for hockey. He just loved the game. He goes along with the statement, ‘To win the game is great, to play the game is greater and to love the game is greatest of all.’ ”
— Bob O’Connor, former USA Hockey National Coach in Chief and Director Emeritus
“Tim was so many things to me. First a coach, then a boss and mentor and later a peer. But most importantly, he was a friend. He has had a positive impact on so many people’s lives, and I am fortunate to be one of them.”
— Keith Allain, current head coach of the Yale University hockey team and a member of the Class of 1980
“Tim and I go way back to my senior year in high school when he tried to recruit me to Harvard. Later on I played for Tim on a couple of National Teams. He was so passionate about hockey and dedicated his life to the sport and all the individuals he came into contact with. He will truly be missed.”
—Ron Wilson, head coach of the 1998 and 2010 U.S. Olympic Teams
“Timmy was such a great role model for us (on the ’84 Olympic team). He was the nicest gentleman and classiest guy you would want to know, and probably one of the most knowledgeable hockey minds USA Hockey ever had.”
— David A. Jensen, 1984 U.S. Olympic Team
“It was fitting that he got to see a program he put so much energy into for so many years win the NCAA hockey championship. He was a wonderful human being and our sport was fortunate to be the benefactor of his love of the game.”
— Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey
“He lived life on his terms. He didn’t let people say ‘Oh geez Tim what are you going to do when you retire?’ He was never going to retire. He was never going to leave the rink. He is only leaving it now because he has passed on. There was no way he was ever, ever going to walk away from hockey.”
— Ben Smith, three-time head coach of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Team
“His passion for the game as a student and a teacher was intoxicating. You couldn’t be a hockey player and not take something positive from his study and enthusiasm for the game.”
— Bob Brooke, Yale University Class of 1983 and a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team
“He was sincere, humble, loyal and totally committed to anything you ever asked him to do. He worked with us in our organization and was exemplary at everything he did. The best thing I can say about Tim is he was a great friend.”
— Lou Lamoriello, CEO, president and general manager of the New Jersey Devils
“He had incredible hockey knowledge. I took a lot of things to my pro career that I learned from Tim.”
— Darby Hendrickson, assistant coach for the Minnesota Wild and a member of the 1994 U.S. Olympic Team
“I think that anyone who was lucky enough to have had Tim in their life is truly blessed. Other than my parents, Tim was the most influential person in my life. I am a much better person today for having spent those years with Tim Taylor.”
— John Emmons, Yale University Class of 1996
“We’ve lost one of the giants in coaching in our country. Tim was dedicated to advancing the sport of hockey at all levels throughout his career, and while there are so many passionate people in our sport, it’s hard to imagine there is anyone more passionate about the game than Tim was.”
—Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey and team leader for the 1994 U.S. Olympic Team
“Whether a veteran coach or young assistant he always had time to talk hockey. I will forever remember, the tears in his eyes when we won Gold in Ufa. Goalie nation will miss you. God Bless Coach Taylor.”
— David Lassonde, assistant coach of the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team