Saturday, 02 March 2024

A Quilt of Miracles: Herb Brooks’s Values on Fabric

As the rain poured down at 6:37 pm on March 11, 2005, I sat staring out the window of my house in Connecticut thinking about the course I was taking at King’s College 200 miles away. Quite honestly, I didn’t have a concept. Picking up the phone I dialed long distance to Pennsylvania looking for an answer which I knew would be hidden within a thought exercise. A man’s voice came on the line and asked me to define specific words: collage, creativity, value. I knew I had to think of how to creatively make a collage of Coach Herb Brooks’s values, but how? Trying my hardest to think as far out of the box as possible, and beginning to get frustrated, I put my left hand on my forehead. Then it hit me, a quilt. That voice came over the line telling me I had it and to take it to a level I didn’t think possible. I love a challenge.

The Project

This quilt is made in honor of the 1980 Olympic Hockey Team and their coach, Herb Brooks. It illustrates through words and images many of the values Coach Brooks taught this team of young men, the values he lived by. The quilt is 52 inches long and 46 inches wide. I chose to create a quilt because I feel it is an eye-catching way of highlighting what Coach Brooks did and who he was. I think it is important for future generations to know about Coach Brooks, to learn his value system and try to model their lives after it.

Lessons Learned

From studying Coach Brooks and the 1980 Hockey Team, I learned that impossibilities don’t exist. I’ve learned to believe in my dreams, work hard and to demand excellence from others, but more importantly, from myself.

Values Learned

I’ve learned the values of passion, courage and leadership. Taking a chance isn’t an option; it’s what pushes you forward in life. Without passion, nothing is worth doing and if you aren’t a leader then you aren’t contributing to much at all. From this I know how to take charge in my life, to find meaning in everything that occurs around me and not to be afraid of decisions I make, but to handle them with class and grace, no matter what.


This project has pushed me to realize all the ways I need to grow as a person. It made me realize that living an easy life isn’t ideal, but living a fulfilled life with challenges, sacrifice and service is. I’ve been able to strengthen my value system and truly understand what dedication and individuality are. Because of Coach Brooks and the 1980 Olympic Hockey Team, I understand that every decision comes with options and consequences. I now understand that it is up to me to make the wisest choices possible and to accept and learn from my mistakes.