It's been a little over a week now since Jerry York and the Boston College men's hockey team brought home the school's fifth National Championship and third in the last five years. It's been a truly remarkable run for the program. I sincerely hope Frank Spaziani, Steve Donahue and Gene DeFilippo are paying close attention to the college hockey dynasty that York has built on the Heights. Both the football and men's basketball programs can learn a thing or two from Coach York.
This is part two of a five-part series examining five key takeaways that Boston College football and basketball can take from the Eagles National Championship men's hockey program. Leave your own thoughts in the comments section.
Establish A Shared Culture
I think one of the biggest things regarding the hockey team's success is how much the student body embraces them. They are just incredible representatives of the school, and that comes straight down from the coach. The students I know held an actual dislike, in a way, for the hoops team, because they were so aloof from the rest of the student body. They never went to pep rallies, were the least approachable kids in Lower, and even little things like never holding doors for anyone stuck in people's minds. Why go to the games of a team who in addition to being bad, isn't a team you can feel any other kind of pride about?
The contrast to how the hockey team is viewed is just astounding. They're all little Jerry Yorks in the public eye. The immense, unassailable pride we feel toward this team that comes from that is really a huge deal. Not for nothing, but lot of us are warming up to the hoops team a bit because Coach Donahue appears to be slowly changing that culture.
That's what it really boils down to, I think. The culture. Just look 3 miles down the street. I don't think BC's hockey culture is in the forefront just because we're successful, I think it contributes to that success. I genuinely believe that our hockey culture is a big reason reason some recruits would choose to go here, and you KNOW it's not lost on those hockey moms who know Jerry York is going to mold their son into a fine young man. It sounds silly but there's no joking about it, that's what he does.