Legendary Hockey Coach Tikhonov Dies at 84

Earlier this year we saw the first player from the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team pass away when Bob Suter passed away in September. Today the KHL announced the passing of Viktor Tikhonov after suffering from long-term illness at 84. Tikhonov was behind the bench of the Soviet Union squad who were upset by the Americans in Lake Placid, N.Y. on February 22, 1980.

Tikhonov was an accomplished player before transferring to coaching. He was a defenseman with VVS and Dynamo Moscow, winning the Soviet national championship four times.

When he transferring to the bench, he became known as one of the most rigorous coaches in the world with CSKA Moscow and the Soviet national team. His teams would often practice for 11 months a year, and he would often have complete control over the players on and off the ice. His teams turned out to be the best to ever play the game, with CKSA winning 12 straight Soviet titles and the national team winning Olympic gold in 1984, 1988, and 1992 (as the Unified Team) in addition to silver in 1980. The Soviets also won eight World Championships in a 13 year span with him behind the bench. He also won other tournaments including the 1979 Challenge Cup and the 1981 Canada Cup.

He would continue to coach after the fall of the Soviet Union, coaching the national team through the 1994 Winter Olympics and CSKA until 1996.

He isn’t in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but he was inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame as a builder in 1998.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *