Grant Standbrook is one of those rare individuals who seem to be good at whatever sport he attempts.
Born in Winnipeg on Sept. 18, 1937, Standbrook grew up in Winnipeg’s West End and Fort Rouge and attended Kelvin High School. In 1954, he placed second in the Manitoba Judo Championships. At the University of Minnesota-Duluth, he was a member of the track team, competing in sprints and pole vault. He played box lacrosse through the youth leagues to senior. He played in the Winnipeg Senior Soccer League for Luxton Royals, Winnipeg Irish and 1962 Canadian Senior champion Winnipeg Scottish and he was the league scoring leader for the Duluth Soccer Team in the 10-team Minnesota Senior Soccer League.
He coached gymnastics, boys’ soccer and cross-country running at Churchill High School, was the convenor and coach in the Winnipeg Under-20 Field Lacrosse League and was the co-chairman of the Manitoba Amateur Athletic Union, cross-country section. He was recruited by 2010 Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame inductee George Phillips to be one of the founding coaches at the Legion Track Camp at the International Peace Gardens.
But it was in hockey where Standbrook made his mark on the ice and behind the bench. Starting in 1956, Standbrook played hockey at UMD, serving as the team captain in the 1960-61 season. In 1964, he accepted a position to coach high school hockey and track in Coleraine, Minn., where he led Coleraine to the Final Four in his third season.
He moved on to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire where he coached hockey as well as soccer and field lacrosse. From 1976 to 1986, Standbrook served as an assistant coach at Wisconsin under the legendary head coach Bob Johnson where he played an integral role in the Badgers winning three NCAA championships and building a hockey dynasty.
While at Wisconsin, he recruited and coached several All-Americans, Olympians and future NHL players, including Stanley Cup winners Chris Chelios and Mike Richter.
From 1987 to 2007, he served as assistant coach and primary recruiter at the University of Maine, building the foundation for a program that won five Hockey East Tournament Championships, advanced to 10 Frozen Fours, won two NCAA Championships and appeared in the title game on four other occasions. At Maine, he coached 33 All-Americans including eight U.S. and two Canadian Olympians.
All together, he was part of five National Championships, appeared in nine National Championships, 15 Final Fours and six other NCAA Championships where his team reached the Final 16. In 2005, he was awarded the Terry Flanigan Award for outstanding achievement as a coach in NCAA Division 1 hockey
Internationally, he was an assistant coach of the 1976 U.S. Olympic team and the U.S, National teams in 1974 and 1975 and has coached several teams for USA Hockey. An innovator in training methods and techniques, Standbrook initiated weight training and off-ice resistance training in the 1960s, well before such training methods were widely accepted.