Bill Cleary (ice hockey)
|Olympic medal record|
|Men’s ice hockey|
|Competitor for the United States|
|Gold||1960 Squaw Valley||Team competition|
|Silver||1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo||Team competition|
William John Cleary, Jr. (born August 19, 1934 in Cambridge, Massachusetts) is a former United States ice hockey player, coach, and athletic administrator. He played on the U.S. hockey team that won the 1960 Winter Olympics gold medal, and is a notable Belmont Hill alumnus.
Cleary was an All-American college hockey player at Harvard University, where he still holds several records, including most points in a single season (89). Taking a year away from college, he won a silver medal as a member of the U.S. ice hockey team at the 1956 Winter Olympics, after turning down a professional-contract offer from the National Hockey League's Montreal Canadiens. At the 1959 World Ice Hockey Championships, he won the IIHF directorate award for best forward. At the 1960 Winter Olympics, in Squaw Valley, California, he won a gold medal with the U.S. team that upset the heavily favored Soviet team.
Cleary went on to coach hockey at Harvard for over twenty years, leading them to the NCAA National Championship in 1989. At Harvard he coached three Hobey Baker Award winners (Scott Fusco, Mark Fusco and Lane MacDonald) as well as many National Hockey League (NHL) stars. He compiled a career 324–201–22 record, for a .612 winning percentage.
Cleary was the driving force behind the structure of the ECAC Hockey League and a mentor to several successful college coaches, including 1987 CCHA Coach of the Year Val Belmonte. The Cleary Cup, named in his honor, is awarded to the ECAC's regular-season champion.
 Honors and awards
The Cleary Cup — awarded to the ECAC regular-season champion (the team with the best in-conference record) — is named for Cleary. At present, this team is given the top seed in the ECAC conference tournament (including the first round bye given to the top four seeded teams), but is not given any special consideration in the NCAA tournament.
 See also
- Barone, Pamela (2010-02-10). "Before the Miracle on Ice: 'Team of Destiny'". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
- "Harvard at a loss; Cleary skates into retirement". Boston Herald. 2000-12-16. p. S37.