Boston College’s Jerry York, the winningest coach in NCAA men’s hockey history, has announced his retirement.
York, 76, met with his coaches and players Wednesday and informed them he was stepping down. He coached 28 years with the Eagles, winning the NCAA men’s hockey championship four times (2001, 2008, 2010, 2012). Prior to that, York was the coach at Clarkson from 1972 to ’79 and Bowling Green (1979-94), where he won his first championship in 1984.
“I have been thinking about the possibility of retiring during the past several weeks and it just seemed to me to be the right time to do so,” York said in a statement. “I am so blessed to have been involved with Boston College these past 28 years and to have had the opportunity to coach so many wonderful student-athletes.”
York’s program developed several dozen NHL players through the years. Former Eagles standout Chris Kreider, now with the New York Rangers, just became the fourth player in franchise history to score 50 goals. Former BC forward Brian Boyle also played for the Rangers among several NHL stops, and now is a fourth-line forward for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“The best thing he did was create a standard of how he expected us to carry ourselves as men. And if we weren’t ready to be men, we learned very quick the right way to do things. If you weren’t doing what was expected, you were made aware of it by a teammate, and that’s the culture he developed,” Boyle told ESPN on Wednesday.
“Besides that, he loved being at the rink. It was evident he loved the game and Boston College. I’m so fortunate I was able to spend four years under Coach York.”
York is one of only three coaches in NCAA history to win the men’s hockey championship at two different schools. On Dec. 29, 2012, he passed Michigan State’s Ron Mason in all-time college hockey wins. He finishes his career with 1,123 wins, including a record 41 in NCAA tournament play. He was named Hockey East coach of the year five times and won NCAA Division I Coach of the Year in 1977. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2020.
“It is difficult to put into words all that Jerry York means to Boston College,” athletic director Patrick Kraft said in the statement. “He is a legend and one of the classiest individuals to ever coach in college sports.”
York’s decision leaves both Boston College and rival Boston University without coaches, as the Terriers parted ways with Albie O’Connell in March after four seasons.