2019 IHHF Bio Series: Jim Friberg

Jim Friberg
Coaches’ Category ~ Class of 2019

Jim was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in the year 1944. Growing up in Maplewood, Minnesota, he learned to skate and play hockey on a pond in his neighborhood. He graduated from North St. Paul High School in 1962 and was a 3-year hockey letterman; he played in the 1961 Minnesota High School Boys’ Hockey Tournament. Jim graduated in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in Group Work and Recreation at George Williams College in Downers Grove, Illinois, and played on their club hockey team.

While at George Williams College he met Jim Campbell at Elmhurst Ice Rink. Jim Campbell developed the first Illinois residential hockey school, aptly named the “Jim Campbell Hockey School” at the Wagon Wheel in Rockton, Illinois. Jim was an initial camp instructor working with Jim Campbell, Greg Wallace and Bob Murch. Bob and Greg would go on to form CAN/AM at Guelph University in Canada where Jim was again an initial instructor.

Jim went on to Cleveland, Ohio, to run YMCA programs and then as a counselor at Olmstead High School. During this time, he began instructing at CAN/AM hockey schools.

Deerfield Falcons Hockey Association in Illinois hired Jim in the early 70’s to become the first professional hockey coach. He also ran the house league programs at an indoor ice rink called “The Bubble” for 3 years before running learn-to-skate and mite programs. These teams were highly successful winning numerous Illinois State A, AA and AAA titles.

After 9 years of coaching and running the Falcons’ programs, he became the head coach for Glenbrook North High School Hockey in Northbrook, Illinois. He was the first coach to ever lead this team to win back-to-back Illinois Boys’ High School Hockey State AA Tournaments.

He went on to coach the Young Americans to become the National runner-up champions at the pee wee and bantam levels. Jim thoroughly enjoyed coaching girls’ hockey teams. Lastly, Jim coached the Loyola Academy White team to win the Illinois Boys’ High School Hockey State A Tournament.

Knowing the players and parents from the past is what has made coaching especially enjoyable and rewarding for Jim. He would like to thank the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame and the many people who have made all the years of coaching possible.

NOTES: The IHHF Induction Dinner will be held in their honour on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at the Belvedere Banquet Hall located at 1170 West Devon Avenue in Elk Grove Village beginning at 5:00 pm. Tickets are available by contacting Norm Spiegel at (847) 269-2922 or email Norm at jacole@comcast.net.

Joining in honoring this special group of inductees will be several of the past inductees into the Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees, and all of the past inductees have demonstrated, through their actions over the years, their personal commitment in making a difference in the lives of thousands of Illinois youth and the Illinois hockey community.

The mission statement of the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame is as follows:

“To honor the excellence of those individuals who, through their exceptional endeavors both on and off the ice, have contributed in an extraordinary way to enhance the sport and image of hockey in Illinois.”

On behalf of everyone involved in the game of hockey, we admire and thank each of the inductees into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2019. They truly are in a class of their own.

Categories: Coaches, Featured, Hockey Headlines

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