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Boston College Men’s Hockey Head Coach Prospects: Mike Ayers & Brendan Buckley

Does Pat Kraft go with an in-house hire?

2022 Beanpot Tournament - Semifinals Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

As we continue to look at candidates that could potentially replace the legend Jerry York behind the Boston College men’s hockey bench, two names who have been around for a while will likely get the chance to interview: associate head coaches Mike Ayers and Brendan Buckley. Ayers just completed his eighth season as associate head coach, while Buckley completed his fourth after being brought in as an assistant coach.

Although York reportedly told Pat Kraft that he’ll be there as a resource in the search only if Kraft reached out, he did ask for one favor — “my two assistants have been here for a while. They deserve a real sit-down interview because both are qualified.” Given this, it’s likely that BC will take a look at Ayers and Buckley as candidates for the new opening, given their tenure and accomplishments on the Heights.

Why either one would be interested:

They’ve been here for a while, and a head coaching position is likely their next step in terms of career progression — so why not try to go for it at BC?

Why it could work:

Since both Ayers and Buckley have been on staff for the past few years, they’re familiar with all the players, the systems in place, and the state of the program. They also probably have a vision for where they want to see the program going forward, given their insights from working with York all this time. Kraft hiring from in-house could also retain the commits that the Eagles have in the pipeline, since incoming players would know that there wouldn’t be huge fundamental changes with York hanging up the skates. Current players will be coached by someone they’ve known for a while so there hopefully wouldn’t be any friction in the locker room as players adjust to a new coach and coaching style.

Why it could flop:

The same reason that it could work: familiarity. Given how this past year went — do we want more of the same? It’s obviously not fair to assume that hiring in-house will exacerbate the issues we saw this year, especially considering that the two years prior to this season were pretty strong. But each team had their own issues on the ice, and it might be time to try something completely new, starting from the top.

How likely is this hire?

Obviously anything could happen, but it’s pretty unlikely that BC will go with anyone from York’s current staff for the job.