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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!”.
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