Coach Greg Carvel of UMass Amherst is one of the premier head coaches in college hockey right now and could be a top target in Boston College’s search to replace Jerry York. He’s turned around a UMass Amherst program that has very little to show for its 100+ year history and finally made them into national champions. What he could do at BC would be even greater.
Why he’d be interested:
The Boston College program is simply superior to the UMass Amherst program. BC is a blue-blood with more money invested in athletics, has a better location, and offers more prestige. While Carvel has managed to win a championship at a historically-poor program like UMass Amherst, BC can offer the promise of more sustained institutional support.
If UMass begins to face more adversity in the coming years? There’s no guarantee Carvel can make it back to the mountaintop with the Minutemen. Whereas BC is much more institutionally invested in staying at the top. Carvel could utilize Boston College’s stellar resources and appeal to build something in Chestnut Hill that would last years upon years, and struggle much less in the process like he would in Amherst trying to go against BC and BU programs trying to make a resurgence. This down period for the Eagles and Terriers won’t last forever, so sneaking in a championship like he did in 2021 will become less and less likely.
Why it could work:
Greg Carvel has taken an underachieving program in UMass Amherst and has made them national champions for the first time in their history. Being the state’s flagship program (or at least claiming to be), you’d think that UMass Amherst would have some postseason success in-line with other New England flagships like Maine or UNH. But until Carvel, UMass Amherst had only ever made the NCAA tournament once (in 2006) despite having a program since 1908, well before the NCAA started awarding championships in 1948. Carvel was able to effectively utilize his strengths in Amherst that nobody had been able to do for that program in 100+ years.
Now it’s BC that is struggling (at least by their standards) and Carvel could do the same for the Eagles. Except this time the heights for the Boston College program are even greater than just the one out-of-nowhere championship run. Carvel’s ability to coach at a great level, combined with a bump up in the Hockey East hierarchy, could result in lasting success.
He also shares one of our passions here at BCI of transparency in public records.
Why it could flop:
Carvel is a very strong candidate and there are few reasons as to why it could flop. Unless he has particular trouble recruiting BC’s top targets (which tend to be a bit higher-level than UMass Amherst’s) then the transition to BC should be fairly straight-forward. If he continues coaching at the high-level like he’s done in Amherst, then BC would return as national championship contenders in short order.
How likely is this hire?
Fairly unlikely, but definitely not impossible. Carvel seems plenty happy at UMass, especially after winning a national championship there. While BC’s superior resources and much higher salary offer may entice him, he’s spent a good amount of time and energy building up that program and won’t necessarily be keen on leaving.
As for BC’s own preferences, Carvel has got to be near the top of their list. He’s got the best resume out of any other potential candidates, probably enough to outweigh the BC roots of coaches like Mike Cavanaugh and Greg Brown.