John "Jack" Riley '39 was an outstanding athlete who came to Tabor Academy in 1938 from Medford High. Jack played varsity soccer and baseball, but his love of hockey was well known by his classmates. Hockey was disbanded at Tabor in 1936 and did not return to the program until 1962. Even without a formal program, Jack was often found playing hockey on the cranberry bogs in Wareham.
Jack's academic record and outstanding hockey ability led him to Dartmouth College to play hockey. In 1941, he left school to serve in World War Il as a Naval Aviator in the Pacific, but returned and picked up where he left off, captaining the 1947 hockey team to a victorious year, winning the North American Hockey title.
After Dartmouth, Jack joined the 1948 Men's Olympic Hockey Team. He was also both a player and coach for the US National Hockey Team at the 1949 Ice Hockey World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden, where his team defeated Sweden to win the bronze medal. In 1960, Jack coached the US Olympic Men's Hockey Team in Squaw Valley, CA. He led an underdog American team past the world's great ice powerhouses - Canada, Russia, Czechoslovakia, and Sweden, to win the USA's first gold medal in Olympic Hockey.
From 1950-1986, Jack was head coach of the West Point hockey team. When he retired, he was the second winningest coach in West Point's history.
Awards & Achievements:
- 1948 Olympic Games, Men's Hockey
- 1949 Ice Hockey World Championship - Bronze Medal
- 1960 Olympic Games, Men's Hockey (Coach) - Gold medal
- 1979 US Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee
- 1986 Lester Patrick Trophy for Coach
- 1998 International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame Inductee
- 2002 Lester Patrick Trophy for '60 US Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Team