History

Bob Johnson The Bob Johnson Ice Hockey School was started by Bob Johnson and Art Berglund in 1964 at the Aspen Ice Garden in Aspen, Colorado. Johnson started the hockey schools while he was the Head Coach of Colorado College to combine two of his greatest loves, hockey and the mountains. With its focus on hockey fundamentals, its founder’s passion for the game, and with beautiful Colorado serving as its backdrop, the Bob Johnson Hockey School became a huge success. The high altitude training in the summer and the great instruction provided by the experienced staff attracted skaters from across the United States. The Bob Johnson Hockey School was immediately recognized for its ability to leverage its experienced coaching staff to develop players on the fundamentals of the game while prioritizing fun and instilling a great passion for hockey. With only word of mouth marketing, the hockey schools expanded to include Sun Valley, Idaho, Anchorage, Alaska and Vail, Colorado. Even when he had reached his career peaks coaching 2 NHL teams, Bob Johnson continued his commitment to running his hockey schools in Vail and Aspen. In fact, 2 months before his death in 1991 and 2 months after winning the Stanley Cup as coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Coach Johnson was in the Aspen Ice Garden coaching the youth participants at the hockey school with the same enthusiasm as he had coached Mario Lemieux a couple months before. He is forever remembered for this enthusiasm and unflappable optimism and commitment to all levels of hockey. His famous quote that he would recite daily with such zest , “It’s a Great Day for Hockey!” is known around the world of sport and continues to be an inspiration at the hockey schools. With 50 years of hockey excellence, the list of player and coaching alumni of the Bob Johnson Hockey Schools is extensive. The school is proud of all of its graduates who went on to excel in college hockey and in the NHL as well as its graduates that improved their skills and love of the game! View selected alumni here. Bob Johnson’s legacy continues and the tradition he established with the hockey schools remain as Bob’s sons, Mark and Pete Johnson (along with his son-in-law Tim McConnell), have taken over directing the school for the past 25 years in Aspen and Vail. The school continues to focus on skill development with over three hours of on ice instruction daily provided by highly trained and experienced coaches. The Bob Johnson Hockey Schools have a deep rooted tradition of excellence and, remember, ‘It’s a great day for hockey!’