June 18, 1931|
Eveleth, Minnesota, United States
|Died||November 10, 2013
Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
|1955–1956||US National Team|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1972–1974||Air Force (assistant)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|1951 NCAA National Champion
1952 NCAA National Champion
1953 NCAA National Champion
|1953 Tournament Most Outstanding Player|
An Eveleth native from birth, Matchefts played for his hometown high school ice hockey team, earning three consecutive all-tournament team honors in his time there and helping Eveleth High School win state titles in his junior and senior years. Matchefts then moved on to Michigan, signing up to play for the national powerhouse under the charge of Vic Heyliger. After sitting out his freshman season (a normal occurrence at the time) Matchefts joined the varsity team just in time for them to win the school's second national title in 1951. The following season the Wolverines became a founding member of the MCHL and responded by posting a second consecutive 22-win season and national title. Matchefts was named team captain for his senior season and while their win total dropped to 17, the Wolverines were invited back to the NCAA tournament and after a scare against Rensselaer in the semifinals, Michigan triumphed for the third straight year, making this the only three-peat in the history of the tournament. (as of 2014) With the win Matchefts joined a very exclusive club of three time NCAA champions as a player in any sport let alone men's hockey.
After graduating in 1953 Matchefts joined the US National Team for a time, playing in both the 1955 World Ice Hockey Championships and the 1956 Olympics, earning a silver medal at Cortina d'Ampezzo before retiring as a player.
Matchefts returned to Minnesota and spent more than a decade as the coach for both his previous high school and Thief River Falls High School before being offered the opportunity to succeed Bob Johnson as head coach at Colorado College. After a decent first season Matchefts' Tigers dropped to the bottom of the conference and stayed well below .500 for the remainder of his tenure and he was out as coach after the 1970–71 season after the school denied his request for a $200 raise.
A year later Matchefts' joined his old college coach, Vic Heyliger, at The Air Force Academy as an assistant and eventually succeeded him in 1974–75. for the next 11 seasons as coach for the Falcons, Matchefts led the airmen through ups and downs as the program established itself as a Division I Independent before retiring and turning the team over to Chuck Delich in 1984–85.
|Colorado College Tigers (WCHA) (1966-67–1970-71)|
|1966-67||Colorado College||15-13-1||6-12-0||7th||WCHA First Round|
|1967-68||Colorado College||9-20-0||4-16-0||7th||WCHA First Round|
|1968-69||Colorado College||12-16-0||4-14-0||7th||WCHA West Regional Finals|
|1970-71||Colorado College||11-17-1||7-11-0||8th||WCHA West Regional Semifinals|
|Air Force Falcons (Division I Independent) (1974-75–1984-85)|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
Awards and honors
|Olympic medal record|
|Men's Ice hockey|
|Representing United States|
|1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo||Ice hockey|
October 1991 Induction into US Hockey Hall of Fame as a player.
September 2015 inducted into University of Michigan Hall of Honor
|All-NCAA All-Tournament First Team||1951|||
|All-MCHL Second Team||1952–53|
|All-NCAA All-Tournament First Team||1953|||
- Olympic results Archived 2012-12-15 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Minnesota hockey legend Matchefts dies". Star Tribune. 2013-11-16. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
- "NCAA Division 1 Tournament". College Hockey Historical Archive. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
- "John Matchefts". US Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
- "Colorado College Men's Hockey Team History". USCHO.com. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
- "John Matchefts, former Air Force hockey coach". Denver Post. 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
- "Air Force Men's Hockey Team History". USCHO.com. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
- "John P. Matchefts Obituary: View John Matchefts's Obituary by The Gazette". Legacy.com. Retrieved 2013-11-22.
- "Duluth, Minnesota". Duluth News Tribune. 2013-11-15. Retrieved 2013-11-22.
- "John Matchefts". Elite Prospects. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
- "2013-14 Colorado College Media Guide" (PDF). Colorado College Tigers. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
- "2012-13 Air Force Falcons Media Guide". ISSUU.com. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
- "NCAA Frozen Four Records" (PDF). NCAA.org. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- Biographical information and career statistics from Eliteprospects.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
|Awards and achievements|
|NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player
|WCHA Coach of the Year