ST. CLOUD, Minn. - St. Cloud State University announced Wednesday that its campus' hockey arena has been renamed Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
The arena had previously been known as the National Hockey and Event Center and the National Hockey Center.
The building has been renamed in honor of Herb Brooks, a former college, professional and U.S. Olympic hockey coach who helped spearhead the St. Cloud State men's hockey team's move up to the NCAA Division I level. Brooks spent one season as the Huskies' head coach (1986-87), helping the team to a third-place finish in the NCAA Division III tournament and then helped get state funding for the arena, which opened in 1989.
The announcement was made by St. Cloud State President Earl H. Potter III. Dan Brooks, the son of Herb, and Huskies men's hockey head coach Bob Motzko also spoke at the news conference.
There was a video played that showed career coaching highlights of Brooks, who died in an automobile accident in 2003. On the video, there were interviews with Dan Brooks, former St. Cloud State head coach Craig Dahl, Motzko and Mike Brodzinski. Brodzinski was a senior captain on the 1986-87 team and is the father of Jonny Brodzinski, who was a freshman forward on this season's St. Cloud State team.
The Huskies had their most successful season in 2012-13, sharing their first WCHA regular season title and advancing to the program's first Frozen Four.
The arena is going through the first phase of a $30 million renovation. The first phase of the renovation, which includes a new main entrance on the south side is on schedule. Potter said the fundraising for the first phase is within $1.5 million of its goal.
Originally, university officials had said they was going to sell the naming rights to the arena to a corporate sponsor. Potter said in the news conference that the decision to name the arena after Brooks came as the 2012-13 season progressed. Corporate sponsor names will be used for different portions of the second phase of the renovation, according to Potter.
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