Mahoney grew up in Peterborough and was a star multi-sport athlete. In addition to playing hockey, Mahoney was also a renowned lacrosse player, a Canadian football quarterback, and a softball pitcher. He was part of the Peterborough Shamrocks bantham "A" team, which won the 1953 provincial championship. In 1956, he became the first local native to play for the Peterborough Petes, and he served as captain of this junior "A" squad during the 1958 season. Mahoney later played university hockey at Carlton University in Ottawa.
Although Mahoney never played pro hockey, he had a long coaching career, serving 16 years behind the bench with the McMaster University CIS squads. In 1980, he was hired as an assistant coach with the Washington Capitals, but he was released as part of a 1981 clearing of the coaching staff. In 1982, he became coach of the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL before gaining his position with Minnesota of the NHL.
NHL Coaching record
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|Minnesota North Stars||1983-84||80||39||31||10||88||1st in Norris||Lost in Conference Finals|
|Minnesota North Stars||1984-85||13||3||8||2||(62)||4th in Norris||(fired)|
|Head coach of the Minnesota North Stars
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