Boston University dismisses head coach Albie O’Connell

One of the most coveted jobs in college hockey is now open as Boston University announced that Albie O’Connell will not be returning as the program’s head coach next season. O’Connell recently completed his fourth season after earning the job when David Quinn left BU to become the head coach of the New York Rangers.

“This was obviously a difficult decision as Albie worked hard towards putting our team in a position to contend for championships,” said BU director of athletics Drew Marrochello in a statement. “We recognize that he was part of several successful teams during his time as a student-athlete and coach here, and I wish him and his family nothing but the best.  
 
“We have very high expectations for our men’s ice hockey program and we are determined to have our team compete at the highest level of college hockey. After the conclusion of our regular year-end assessment, we believe that a new direction is needed for our program to achieve our goals.”

O’Connell, who is a former BU captain as a player, led the Terriers to a 58-49-16 record over his four seasons at the helm, which included a 2020-21 season that saw BU play in just 16 total games due primarily to COVID protocols. Going 10-5-1 that year, the Terriers actually made the NCAA tournament as an at-large team. It was the school’s only appearance in the tournament during O’Connell’s tenure.

BU went 19-13-3 this season and won the 2022 Beanpot, but was knocked out of the Hockey East Tournament by UConn, ending their season.

The Terriers could be on their third coach since 2013 following the illustrious 40-year career of Jack Parker behind the bench for the vaunted program. David Quinn replaced the legend and was behind the BU bench for five years before leaving for New York. O’Connell was Quinn’s top assistant and largely considered one of the best recruiters in the country, which helped him earn the promotion following Quinn’s departure.

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BU will likely be able to pick from a large pool of interested candidates. Quinn is currently a free agent again after not coaching in the NHL this season following his firing last year, though it is unclear how much interest he has in returning to college hockey. Jay Pandolfo, a former BU standout as a player and a top assistant with the program currently, is also one of the individuals that will likely be considered for the highly-coveted opening. He joined BU after five seasons as an assistant coach with the Boston Bruins.

BU has one of the most storied histories of any program in the country, having been established in 1917. The program has won five national titles and boasts dozens of alumni playing in the NHL including notables like Jack Eichel, Charlie McAvoy and Brady Tkachuk.

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