Unsinn passes away

Coach and player, German IIHF Hall of Famer dies at 82


Xaver Unsinn was famous as the coach with the hat. Photo: IIHF Archive

FÜSSEN, Germany – Longtime German national team player and national coach Xaver Unsinn passed away on Wednesday, January 4, 2012, in his hometown of Füssen at age 82.

As a player he spent most of his career with EV Füssen, winning eight championships between 1946 and 1960, before playing two seasons for Kaufbeuren.

He represented Germany in 72 international games including three IIHF World Championships and two Olympic Winter Games. He was part of the team that won silver in 1953 at the World Championship in Basel and Zurich, Switzerland.

However, Unsinn was more famous as the coach with the hat. He started as a player-coach with Kaufbeuren in 1960 and moved on to coach Augsburger EV, Berliner SC, Düsseldorfer EG, Kölner EC, Preussen Krefeld and EV Rosenheim, winning three German titles. He also led SC Bern to a Swiss championship during his three-year stint in the Swiss capital.

At the international level he was behind the bench of the 1964 Olympic ice hockey team. He later came back to lead Germany to the A-Pool and coached the national team 1975-1977 and 1982-1990 before stepping down due to health reasons. Under Unsinn Germany won Olympic bronze 1976 in Innsbruck, Austria.

With 107 games at World Championships and Olympic Winter Games as a coach he was the coach with the second-most international games behind only legendary Soviet coach Viktor Tikhonov.

In 1998 Unsinn was inducted into the Builders’ Category of the IIHF Hall of Fame and into the German Hall of Fame. Two years earlier he received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

“In Xaver Unsinn, German ice hockey loses an outstanding and accomplished player and coach, who knew, lived and loved our sport as hardly anyone else. ‘Mr. Eishockey’ will be missed a lot by the German ice hockey community and the German Ice Hockey Association,” the German Ice Hockey Association wrote in a press release.

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