Bob Johnson (ice hockey, born 1931)

Robert Norman "Badger Bob" Johnson (March 4, 1931 – November 26, 1991) was an American college, international, and professional ice hockey coach. He coached the Wisconsin Badgers men's ice hockey team from 1966 to 1982, where he led the Badgers to seven appearances at the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championships, including three titles. During his time as the head coach at Wisconsin, Johnson also coached the United States men's national ice hockey team at the 1976 Winter Olympics and seven other major championships, including the Canada Cup and IIHF World Championships. He then coached the Calgary Flames for five seasons that included a Stanley Cup Finals loss in 1986. Johnson achieved the peak of his professional coaching career in his only season as coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990–91, when the Penguins won the 1991 Stanley Cup Finals, becoming the second American-born coach to win it and the first in 53 years. In August 1991, following hospitalization due to a brain aneurysm, Johnson was diagnosed with brain cancer. He died on November 26 of the same year.

Johnson was well known amongst players and fans for his enthusiasm and unflappable optimism, immortalized through his famous catchphrase "It's a great day for hockey!" .

Bob Johnson
Bob Johnson
BornMarch 4, 1931
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
DiedNovember 26, 1991 (aged 60)
Colorado Springs, Colorado, US
Previous team(s)Calgary Flames
Pittsburgh Penguins
Stanley Cup wins1
Years as an NHL coach6
Playing career
1950–1951North Dakota
1951–1952Minneapolis Millers
1957–1958Minnesota Culbertsons
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1962–1963Roosevelt High
1963–1966Colorado College
1973US National Team
1974US National Team
1975US National Team
1975–1976US Olympic Team
1981Team USA
1982–1987Calgary Flames
1984Team USA
1987Team USA
1990–1991Pittsburgh Penguins
Head coaching record
Overall394–224–27 (.632)
Tournaments9–5 (.643)
Accomplishments and honors
1970 WCHA Tournament Champion
1972 WCHA Tournament Champion
1973 WCHA Tournament Champion
1973 NCAA National Champion
1977 WCHA Regular Season Champion
1977 WCHA Tournament Champion
1977 NCAA National Champion
1978 WCHA Tournament Champion
1981 NCAA National Champion
1982 WCHA Tournament Champion
1991 Stanley Cup
1977 WCHA Coach of the Year
1987 Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame
1991 United States Hockey Hall of Fame
1992 Hockey Hall of Fame
2000 Hobey Baker Legend of College Hockey Award

Youth and amateur coaching career

Johnson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He attended Minneapolis Central High School and the University of Minnesota, where he played hockey under legendary coach John Mariucci.

After serving as a medic during the Korean War, Johnson began his coaching career at a high school in Warroad, Minnesota. He later coached hockey at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis. He would teach his History class using a hockey stick as a pointer to the chalkboard. Johnson became the head hockey coach at Colorado College in 1963.

In 1966, he moved to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he was head coach until 1982. He led the Badgers to seven NCAA tournaments, winning three championships in 1973, 1977, and 1981. It was at Wisconsin where Johnson earned the nickname, "Badger Bob."

Johnson also coached the 1976 Winter Olympic hockey team, the 1981, 1984 and 1987 U.S. teams in the Canada Cup tournament, and the 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1981 U.S. national teams.

NHL coaching career

In 1982, Johnson began his National Hockey League career when he became the head coach of the Calgary Flames, a position he held for five seasons. In the 1985–86 season, he coached the Flames to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost 4 games to 1 to the Montreal Canadiens. From 1987 until 1990, he served as the President of USA Hockey. Then in 1990, he was named the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. In his first season, he coached the team, which was led by superstar Mario Lemieux, to a 1991 Stanley Cup Finals championship victory over the Minnesota North Stars, four games to two. That would be his only season coaching the Penguins.

Brain cancer and death

In August 1991, as he was preparing the U.S. team for the upcoming Canada Cup tournament, Johnson suffered a brain aneurysm and was hospitalized, where he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was then flown on a private plane to Colorado with Dr. Dan Thompson of Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. He began treatment and turned the day-to-day supervision of the Penguins over to his three assistant coaches and Scotty Bowman, the team's director of player development and recruitment, who was named interim head coach. Though the team was "coached by committee", Johnson continued to oversee them from his hospital room by way of videotape and remained in contact by fax machine.

On November 26, 1991, Johnson died of brain cancer in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After his death, his catchphrase was emblazoned on a banner hanging over the ice at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and was painted at the bluelines on the ice in Pittsburgh's Civic Arena. In memoriam, it remained on the ice there for the remainder of the season. In addition, Penguins players would wear a patch on the left sleeve of their jerseys with the word "BADGER" under his birth and death years. Pittsburgh also put his name on the Stanley Cup a second time after their second straight Cup victory in 1992. "He's such a tremendous person...We would like to win it again for him,"[1] said Mark Recchi, a member of the team in 1991.

At the team's 1992 victory celebration at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Bowman's first remark was that "the coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins will always be – Bob Johnson".[2]

The team used "A Great Day For Hockey" as their marketing slogan for the 2008–09 season. On June 12, 2009, exactly 19 years to the day of Johnson's hiring, the Pittsburgh Penguins won their third Stanley Cup. Furthermore, the Penguins won their fourth Stanley Cup, 26 years to the day that Johnson was hired, on June 12, 2016. "A Great Day For Hockey" now adorns the entrance of the PPG Paints Arena, the current home arena of the Penguins.

At the time of his death Johnson's 234 NHL victories were a record for an American born coach. Dan Bylsma, John Tortorella and Peter Laviolette have since eclipsed this mark.

Head coaching record


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Colorado College Tigers (WCHA) (1963–1966)
1963–64 Colorado College 11–14–1 4–11–1 6th
1964–65 Colorado College 7–17–1 2–14–0 7th
1965–66 Colorado College 9–18–2 4–12–2 7th WCHA First Round
Colorado College: 27–49–4 10–37–3
Wisconsin Badgers (Division I Independent) (1966–1969)
1966–67 Wisconsin 16–10–0
1967–68 Wisconsin 21–10–0
1968–69 Wisconsin 22–10–2
Wisconsin: 59–30–2
Wisconsin Badgers (WCHA) (1969–1975)
1969–70 Wisconsin 23–11–0 12–10–0 4th NCAA Consolation Game (Win)
1970–71 Wisconsin 20–13–1 13–9–0 3rd WCHA East Regional Semifinals
1971–72 Wisconsin 27–10–1 20–8–0 2nd NCAA Consolation Game (Win)
1972–73 Wisconsin 29–9–2 18–9–1 3rd NCAA National Champion
1973–74 Wisconsin 18–13–5 12–11–5 5th WCHA First Round
1974–75 Wisconsin 24–12–2 19–11–2 4th WCHA First Round
Wisconsin: 141–68–11 94–58–8
Wisconsin Badgers (WCHA) (1976–1982)
1976–77 Wisconsin 37–7–1 26–5–1 1st NCAA National Champion
1977–78 Wisconsin 28–12–3 21–9–2 2nd NCAA Consolation Game (Loss)
1978–79 Wisconsin 25–13–3 19–11–2 4th WCHA Second Round
1979–80 Wisconsin 15–20–1 12–18–0 9th
1980–81 Wisconsin 27–14–1 17–11–0 t-2nd NCAA National Champion
1981–82 Wisconsin 35–11–1 18–7–1 2nd NCAA Runner-Up
Wisconsin: 167–77–10 113–61–6
Total: 394–224–27

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


Team Year Regular season Postseason
Games Won Lost Tied Points Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CGY 1982-83 80 32 34 14 78 2nd in Smythe 4 5 .445 Lost in Division Finals (EDM)
CGY 1983-84 80 34 32 14 82 2nd in Smythe 6 5 .545 Lost in Division Finals (EDM)
CGY 1984-85 80 41 27 12 94 3rd in Smythe 1 3 .250 Lost in Division Semifinals (WPG)
CGY 1985-86 80 40 31 9 89 2nd in Smythe 12 10 .545 Lost in Stanley Cup Finals (MTL)
CGY 1986-87 80 46 31 3 95 2nd in Smythe 2 4 .333 Lost in Division Semifinals (WPG)
CGY total 400 193 155 52 25 27 .481
PIT 1990-91 80 41 33 5 88 1st in Patrick 16 8 .667 Won Stanley Cup
PIT total 80 41 33 5 16 8 .667
Total 480 234 188 58 41 35 .539


Johnson was inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987, United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991, and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. He was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993. On November 2, 2012, the Wisconsin Badgers Men's Hockey team dedicated their home ice rink to Johnson, dubbing it "Bob Johnson Rink".

Personal life

Johnson is also the father of 1980 Olympic hockey gold medalist and current Wisconsin Women's Hockey Coach Mark Johnson and former Wisconsin assistant coach and Toronto Maple Leafs scout Peter Johnson. He is the grandfather of former Wisconsin hockey player Patrick Johnson, former Denver Pioneer hockey player Scott McConnell, Augsburg College men's assistant hockey coach Chris Johnson, and women's hockey player Megan Johnson.

See also


  1. ^ LaPointe, Joe (September 29, 1991). "1991–1992 NHL SEASON; Johnson's Down, but Not Out Of the Picture". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Against the Odds – Part 7 on YouTube

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Al MacNeil
Head coach of the Calgary Flames
Succeeded by
Terry Crisp
Preceded by
Craig Patrick
Head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins
Succeeded by
Scotty Bowman
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
John MacInnes
WCHA Coach of the Year
Succeeded by
Marshall Johnston
Bob (given name)

Bob is a male given name or a hypocorism, usually of Robert, and sometimes a diminutive of Bobby. It is most common in English speaking countries such as the United States, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

It most likely originated from the hypocorism Rob, short for Robert. Rhyming names were popular in the Middle Ages, so Richard became Rick, Hick, or Dick, William became Will, Gill, or Bill, and Robert became Rob, Hob, Dob, Nob, or Bob.In 1960 nearly 3,000 babies in the United States were given the name Bob compared to fewer than 50 in 2000.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson may refer to:

Bob Johnson (actor) (1920–1993), voice actor noted for Mission: Impossible mission messages

Bob Johnson (Arkansas state representative) (born 1953), member of the Arkansas House of Representatives since 2015

Bob Johnson (Arkansas state senator) (born 1962), member of the Arkansas State Senate from 2001 to 2011 and the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1995 to 2000

Bob Johnson (butcher) (1940–2001), British businessman

Bob Johnson (musician) (born 1944), British guitarist

Bob Johnson (pilot) (1917–2014), fighter pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force

Bob Johnson (psychiatrist), British psychiatrist

Bob Johnson (weather forecaster), British weather forecaster

Bob Johnston (1932–2015), American record producer

Bob A. Johnson (1945–2017), American politician and school social worker

Robert L. Johnson (born 1946), founder of Black Entertainment Television

Robert Royce Johnson (1928–2016), engineer, computer pioneer, and professor; inventor of the Johnson counter

Bob Johnson, a fictional father from the animated series Squirrel Boy

Evergreen Cemetery (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Evergreen Cemetery is the city-maintained cemetery for Colorado Springs, Colorado, on the National Register of Historic Places in El Paso County, Colorado.

When Colorado Springs was founded in 1871 there were already two cemeteries serving El Paso County but both were quickly found to be inadequate in serving the needs of the rapidly growing city. In 1874, the founder of Colorado Springs, General William Jackson Palmer, founded a new cemetery two miles from town. The original names were the Mount Washington or Mountain Home Cemetery. In 1877, the name was changed to Evergreen Cemetery. In 1875, the original 10 acres or so was deeded to the city of Colorado Springs and it has been a city owned and operated cemetery since then. In 1993 the cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The original 10 acres has grown to over 220 acres with 90,000 plus burials in 2014 and the cemetery still performs about 700 burials per year.

Evergreen Cemetery is the final resting place of many of the people that built the city of Colorado Springs along with founders of many neighboring cities. It is also the final resting place of many of the people that made millions from the last Colorado gold rush, world renowned artists, writers and composers, philanthropists, captains of industry and business, Union and Confederate soldiers, sports figures, politicians, actors, and even an astronaut.

Playing venues
Head coaches
Conference affiliations
All-time leaders
National championships
Frozen Four appearances
NCAA Tournament appearances
Conference Tournament champions
Hobey Baker winners
Playing venues
Head coaches
Conference affiliations
Culture & lore
All-time leaders
National championships
Frozen Four appearances
NCAA Tournament appearances
Conference Tournament champions
Hobey Baker winners
NHL players

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