Former Gopher Hockey head coach, Minnesota North Stars coach and former Gopher Hockey radio color commentator Glen Sonmor died Sunday night at the age of 86. While Sonmor coached the Gophers from 1966 through 1971, recording a record of 77-80-6 and winning the 1969-70 WCHA Title, to a majority of Gopher fans he willbe remembered as the color commentator on Gopher Hockey radio broadcasts, the ultimate homer to go along with Wally Shaver in the late 1990s and through the early 2010s.
Below are two of Sonmor's most famous moments on the air broadcasting Gopher games...ones that any true Gopher Hockey fan has memorized by heart.
Sonmor was summoned to Minnesota following his hockey playing career by his good friend John Mariucci. He would coach the Gopher freshman under Mariucci while also graduating with a degree in physical education in 1956. After several other coaching stints including one year as head coach at Ohio State, Sonmor succeeded Mariucci as head coach at the University of Minnesota in 1966. Along with his teams’ success on the ice, Sonmor also gave Minnesota alum and coaching legend Herb Brooks his first coaching role as an assistant during the 1970-71 season. That worked out ok I guess.
After stepping down as Gophers coach midway through the 1971-72 season, Sonmor coached the Minnesota Fighting Saints in the World Hockey Association in 1972-73 and 1976-77 before taking over as head coach of the North Stars in 1979.
Sonmor was honored with the Lester Patrick Trophy in 2006 for outstanding service to hockey in the United States, and he was inducted inducted into the ‘M’ Club Hall of Fame in 2007.
Sonmor had been in poor health in recent years and was living with relatives near Toronto. He was a true Gopher legend and he will be missed.